Decade Long Study Shows Educating Parents Key To Preventing Emotional Disorders

In the longest running study of its kind, researchers have evaluated the long-term effects of early intervention on the prevention of internalising disorders in children, such as anxiety or depression.

Macquarie University (I-Newswire) February 13, 2013 - In the longest running study of its kind, researchers have evaluated the long-term effects of early intervention on the prevention of internalising disorders in children, such as anxiety or depression.

The study, led by Distinguished Professor Ron Rapee AM, Director of the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University, delivered a brief prevention program to parents of preschool aged children. An assessment was then conducted approximately 11 years after the initial program was delivered.

The results showed that overall, children whose parents did the prevention program were less likely to demonstrate internalising disorders and reported fewer symptoms of anxiety.

"The majority of prevention programs are aimed at school-aged children often delivered in the school setting. However our research has found that a parent-focused intervention, even before a child first begins to exhibit problems with anxiety, can be highly successful in reducing internalising disorders," says Prof Rapee.

These findings, recently published in the online advance copy of the prestigious Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, represent the longest follow-up of a prevention program for anxiety to date and offers compelling evidence to the long-term benefits of early intervention programs.

"Over the past decade there has been a marked increase in interventions aimed at the prevention of internalising disorders. Given the low cost associated with this program these results show that there is huge long-term benefit to early intervention," says Prof Rapee.

Article: "The preventative effects of a brief, early intervention for preschool-aged children at risk for internalising: follow-up into middle adolescence", Rapee, R. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry Published Online: 8 February 2013

About Centre for Emotional Health

The Centre for Emotional Health (CEH) is Australia's foremost anxiety and emotional disorder support   More.., treatment and research hub, continually improving treatments for children and adults who live with anxiety. The only one of its kind in Australia, the Centre's Emotional Health Clinic delivers tailored treatment and support programs for children, families and adults living with anxiety, depression and associated mental health problems, as well as practical training for health care workers, psychologists and school counselors. The CEH and its team of researchers also lead cutting-edge research programs into the causes and treatment for anxiety, stress, depression and mental health disorders. The CEH is located at Macquarie University's Department of Psychology and is led by internationally renowned Professor Ron Rapee.

Contact Information

Centre for Emotional Health
Melissa McKibbins
Department of Psychology, Building C3A, 720
Balaclava Road
Phone : 0298504084

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Science and Research

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February 13, 2013

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