This study will determine the effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral group therapy program
in preventing anxiety disorders in at-risk children exposed to community violence.
Community violence is a major public health problem in low-income, urban communities. The
mental health impact of living in a violent community is significant, particularly for
children. Community violence exposure is associated with various symptoms of anxiety.
Unfortunately, little research on the prevention of community-related anxiety in youth has
been conducted. This study involves a school-based prevention and cognitive behavioral
therapy program that will involve predominantly African American children who live in urban
areas and are at risk for developing anxiety disorders.
Children in this study will be randomly assigned to either an anxiety prevention and early
intervention group or a nonintervention group for approximately 3 months. Child, parent, and
teacher assessments of anxiety symptoms will be made at the end of the study and at a
6-month follow-up visit.
- Mild exposure to community violence
- Mild to moderate anxiety symptoms or disorders
- Attending public elementary school in an urban area
- In 3rd to 5th grades
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV disruptive behavior disorder
- Too many or too few anxiety symptoms