The mediating role of changes in harm beliefs and coping efficacy in youth with specific phobias.

Elsevier BV
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Behav Res Ther, 2017, 99, pp. 131-137
Issue Date:
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Individuals with specific phobias (SPs) often experience catastrophic cognitions and compromised efficacy regarding their ability to cope when in the presence of the phobic object/situation. In the current study, 165 children (7-16 years; 62% male) received either One Session Treatment or Educational Support Therapy for their SP. The children identified their feared belief and rated "how bad" it was, "how likely" it was to occur, and their ability to cope if it did occur. All of these ratings were reduced from pre-treatment to 6-month follow-up, across both treatment conditions. However, ratings of "how bad" and "how likely" reduced to a significantly greater degree for children who received OST. Greater change in each of the three beliefs predicted lower clinician severity ratings (CSRs) at post-treatment and 6-month follow-up. Additionally, changes in "how bad" and "how likely" the children rated their beliefs, and their reported ability to cope, partially mediated the relationship between treatment and post-treatment and follow-up CSRs. Overall, these findings suggest that although both treatment conditions produced changes in harm beliefs and coping efficacy, OST elicited greater changes and these changes may be important mechanisms in reduction of SP clinical severity.
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