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Etiology and Psychological Treatment of Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) in Childhood

English title Etiology and Psychological Treatment of Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) in Childhood
Applicant Schneider Silvia
Number 116517
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Fakultät für Psychologie Universität Basel
Institution of higher education University of Basel - BS
Main discipline Psychology
Start/End 01.06.2007 - 31.05.2010
Approved amount 409'389.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Neurology, Psychiatry

Keywords (8)

separation anxiety disorder; family based cognitive-behavioral treatment; attachment; behavioral inhibition; cognitive biases; family functioning; Etiology; Psychological Treatment

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Separation anxiety disorder is the earliest and most common anxiety disorder in childhood. Recent research indicates that anxiety disorders in childhood and in particular Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) increase the risk of mental disorders in adulthood significantly. Despite these results, research on childhood anxiety disorders is still neglected compared to the vast research activity on adult anxiety disorders. In fact, there is almost no etiological and treatment research in young children. This contrasts sharply with the claim that children in particular should receive save and evidence-based treatments. Thus, there is an urgent need for research in this age group, The present follow-on proposal encompasses the second phase of a research program originally elaborated as a two phase study including an etiological and a treatment study in children with SAD. In the first phase, which will be completed in May 2007, 60 children with SAD, 30 children with Social Phobia and 30 children without mental disorders will have undergone a comprehensive cognitive and family assessment. Furthermore, 60 children with SAD will have completed a randomized controlled trial comparing a newly developed SAD-specific family-based treatment (“SAD-CBT”) with a well-established global child-based CBT program for childhood anxiety disorders (“global CBT”). Preliminary analyses of our data found first evidence for our major etiological hypotheses. Moreover, preliminary results of the treatment study point to better outcomes for the specific family based CBT program. The primary goals of present follow-on proposal for phase 2 are to complete the post-treatment etiological assessments as well as the follow-up assessments of treatment outcomes (4 weeks, 1 and 2 years). Finally, tests of treatment integrity, data analyses and publication of the results of the etiological and treatment studies are parts of the present application. The results of this research program will have both theoretical and therapeutical implications for the neglected field of anxiety disorders in young children.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
68701 Zur Ätiologie und Behandlung der Emotionalen Störung mit Trennungsangst des Kindesalters 01.06.2003 SNSF Professorships