Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Child Development



First Reader/Committee Chair

Wong, Eugene


Anxiety is a commonly diagnosed disorder in middle childhood that affects many aspects of the child’s life. Effective treatment is needed so that children are able to experience fewer or no symptoms of anxiety and to manage anxiety. Cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) is widely used as a treatment for children with anxiety. CBT can either be facilitated in an individual or group format but there are inconsistencies in the literature regarding which modality is most effective. A meta-analysis was conducted to compare the effectiveness of individual CBT (ICBT) and group CBT (GCBT) in treating school-aged children with anxiety disorders. Eligible studies focused on the Coping Cat program for ICBT or GCBT programs such as FRIENDS. Participants from the selected studies were between the ages of 5-12 years and were treated by either ICBT or GCBT. Effect sizes were calculated from post-intervention measures and combined to examine group differences. It was found that ICBT was associated with a very large effect size (1.05) and GCBT (0.54) had a large effect size. This suggests that ICBT is the superior treatment modality as children who received individualized treatment reported a greater reduction or elimination of anxiety symptoms. Individual treatment allows opportunity for the therapist to work with the child and their families whereas in GCBT, there is less time to create treatment plans that are uniquely tailored. A proposed ICBT program is outlined that addresses a richer family component and social skills training.