Specific phobia

Thomas H. Ollendick, Maria J. W. Cowart, Ella L. Milliner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Specific phobias are highly prevalent, affecting 5–10 % of children and adolescents in community samples and 15 % in mental health settings. Phobic youth experience significant interference and distress in their day-to-day lives and are at an increased risk of academic and social difficulties as well as adult psychopathology. Phobias have a complex etiology, developing from a multiplicity of factors including genetics, learning history, parenting, and evolutionary preparedness. This chapter reviews empirically supported assessment and treatment interventions for phobic youth. Strong empirical support currently exists for cognitive and behavioral treatments. In particular, the chapter focuses on the one-session treatment (OST) approach, which incorporates cognitive behavioral techniques into an intensive (3-h) treatment package. OST is a cost-effective and rapid treatment for phobic youth, with four randomized trials in four different countries now supporting its use. A case report illustrating the implementation of this treatment is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPediatric anxiety disorders
Subtitle of host publicationa clinical guide
EditorsRoma A. Vasa, Amy Krain Roy
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781461465997
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCurrent clinical psychiatry


  • Specific phobia
  • Clinical phenomenology
  • Etiology
  • Assessment
  • Behavioral approach task
  • Treatment
  • One-session treatment


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