The Effectiveness of Anxiety Interventions for Young Children : A Meta-Analytic Review

Anxiety symptoms and disorders are prevalent and impairing in young children and these symptoms often persist and worsen over time, indicating the need for efficacious interventions for this age group. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions targeting anxiety in younger children and to assess the potential moderators of outcome. The effect sizes from 24 trials were assessed based on a random effect model. The mean weighted effect size was found to be significant and moderate in magnitude. Moderators, including level of intervention, intervention approach, rater, and level of training of the provider/program facilitator, are assessed and discussed. Overall, the findings indicate that anxiety interventions are effective in reducing anxiety in young children, and targeted trials show particularly strong promise.



  • The study provides a meta-analytic review of intervention programs for young children.
  • Twenty-four trials were identified, and overall, interventions were found to be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms.
  • Moderator analyses were conducted, including level of intervention, intervention approach, level of training of facilitator, and rater of symptoms.
  • Both targeted prevention trials and treatment trials were to be significant, with targeted programs showing particular promise.
  • The meta-analysis informs directions for future research for anxiety interventions in young children.
Brian Fisak, Angelo Penna, Nicholas D. Mian, Laura Lamoli, Aglaia Margaris & Sonia Ann Marie F. Dela Cruz | 2023
In: Journal of Child and Family Studies : ISSN: 1062-1024 | 32 | may | 2546–2557
Adolescents, Anxiety Disorders, Children, Diagnosis, Effectiveness, Interventions, Meta Analysis, Predictors