Author(s): Daleiden EL, Vasey MW
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Abstract In the past decade, cognitive theories of adult anxiety disorders have become increasingly complex, reflecting enhanced understanding of anxiety-related information-processing. This growth has fostered the development and enhancement of numerous assessment and treatment methods. Unfortunately, similar growth has been slower to occur in theories of childhood anxiety. This paper attempts to foster such growth by adopting an information-processing perspective. Doing so expands the extant cognitive perspective on childhood anxiety in four major ways. First, the division of cognitive processing into a sequence of steps provides a framework for organizing predictions regarding cognitive factors in childhood anxiety. Second, consideration of the cognitive operations active during each stage in the sequence facilitates elaboration of the types of cognitive deficits and distortions characteristic of anxious children. Third, it promotes development and application of performance-based assessment methodologies. Finally, an information-processing perspective highlights several targets for clinical intervention that may promote widespread change in an anxiety-supporting cognitive system.
This article was published in Clin Psychol Rev
and referenced in Clinical and Experimental Psychology