Anxiety disorder effect one in 8 children, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. So, if you’re having 8 kids, you’re statistically asking for trouble. And, no matter how hard you try to avoid infecting your kids with your anxiety, you might have a nervous Nelly anyways (regardless of their name). A new report published in the journal Clinical Child And Adolescent Psychology reviewed 111 treatment outcome studies, testing 204 treatment conditions over the span of 5 decades in order to figure out the best way of dealing with it. Seeing that they didn’t freak out over that much meta-analysis, they must know what they’re talking about.
The results support previous studies that established Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as particularly effective in treating anxiety disorders in kids, provided the parental environment is taken into account in the treatment. But, given the massive scope of the new analysis, researchers were also able to identify techniques like hypnosis and storytelling as promising therapies in certain scenarios, like treating inner city youth.
If kids are anxious for different reasons, this report confirms that you can’t expect the same solutions to work every time. But it also confirms that CBT is the go-to treatment for children struggling with anxiety, because it shows the greatest long term benefits across the most diverse cross-section of kids. But if it doesn’t work, you don’t have to freak out about it either. It’s just a good excuse to start dabbling in hypnosis.