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Brief Psycho-Social Interventions in the Treatment of Specific Childhood Phobias: A Controlled Trial and a 1-Year Follow-Up

  • Natalie Flatt (a1) and Neville King (a2)


Forty-three youth aged 7–17 years old who fulfilled DSM-IV criteria for assorted specific phobias, were randomised to a one-session exposure treatment, a psycho-education package or a waitlist control conditions. Participants were assessed using semi-structured interviews, self-report measures and an individualised behavioural avoidance test (BAT). Assessments were completed pre- and posttest. At the 1-year follow-up, self-report measures along with a generalised version of the individualised BAT were re-administered. Results exhibited that both active treatment conditions were superior to the waitlist control on the BAT, self-efficacy ratings; however, no significant differences were found on functioning levels and other self-report measures with the exception of the Fear Survey Schedule — Revised. Additionally, no significant differences were found between the two active conditions at posttest or the 1-year follow-up. Implications and future research strategies are discussed.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Natalie Flatt, Faculty of Education, Monash University, PO Box 6, Clayton VIC Australia, 3800.



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