Targeting risk factors for inhibited preschool children: an anxiety prevention program

Frances L. Doyle, Helen F. Dodd, Talia M. Morris, Rebecca S. Lazarus, Yulisha Byrow, Jennifer L. Hudson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: Children with a behaviorally inhibited temperament during early childhood have been shown to have an increased risk for developing anxiety disorders. This study evaluated the efficacy of an anxiety prevention program aimed at reducing the risk of anxiety in behaviorally inhibited preschool children. Method: Participants were 86 children aged 41–57 months and their mothers. Children were selected if their mothers reported high levels of child behavioral inhibition on a screening measure. Participants were randomly allocated to a nine-session intervention or a waitlist control condition. Mothers and children both participated in the intervention. Results. At follow-up, the intervention group had significantly fewer clinician-rated child anxiety disorders and fewer mother-reported child anxiety symptoms than at baseline but this change was not significantly different to the change seen in the waitlist control group. Conclusions: On average, across the course of the study, anxiety decreased in all children irrespective of group. A number of potential reasons for this are discussed along with implications for research and clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103982
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • preschool
  • anxiety
  • behavioural inhibition
  • prevention
  • intervention
  • cognitive behavioural therapy


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