Anxiety Disorders in Caucasian and African American Children: A Comparison of Clinical Characteristics, Treatment Process Variables, and Treatment Outcomes

Arlene T. Gordon-Hollingsworth, Emily M. Becker, Golda S. Ginsburg, Courtney Keeton, Scott N. Compton, Boris B. Birmaher, Dara J. Sakolsky, John Piacentini, Anne M. Albano, Philip C. Kendall, Cynthia M. Suveg, John S. March

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examined racial differences in anxious youth using data from the Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Study (CAMS) [1]. Specifically, the study aims addressed whether African American (n = 44) versus Caucasian (n = 359) children varied on (1) baseline clinical characteristics, (2) treatment process variables, and (3) treatment outcomes. Participants were ages 7–17 and met DSM-IV-TR criteria for generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, and/or separation anxiety disorder. Baseline data, as well as outcome data at 12 and 24 weeks, were obtained by independent evaluators. Weekly treatment process variables were collected by therapists. Results indicated no racial differences on baseline clinical characteristics. However, African American participants attended fewer psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy sessions, and were rated by therapists as less involved and compliant, in addition to showing lower mastery of CBT. Once these and other demographic factors were accounted for, race was not a significant predictor of response, remission, or relapse. Implications of these findings suggest African American and Caucasian youth are more similar than different with respect to the manifestations of anxiety and differences in outcomes are likely due to treatment barriers to session attendance and therapist engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-655
Number of pages13
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Volume46
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 13 2015

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Children
  • Race
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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