Clinical Update: The Role of Family Accommodation in Youth Anxiety Treatment Outcomes

Rebecca G. Etkin, Sigal Zilcha-Mano, Eli R. Lebowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Over the past several years, family accommodation (FA) has gained increasing recognition for its role in child and adolescent anxiety disorders. Recent clinical trials highlight the importance of assessing and addressing FA within the context of treatment, with findings showing that FA is a significant predictor of treatment success. This clinical update was prompted by such findings, and specifically findings from a recent study by Zilcha-Mano and collagues which suggest that the level of agreement between child- and parent-reports of FA has differential effects on outcomes for child- and parent-based treatments. In this article, we aim to provide (1) a brief overview of the research pointing to the reduction of FA as a critical ingredient of youth anxiety treatment, and (2) a summary and in-depth discussion of the study by Zilcha-Mano and colleagues that speaks to the potential importance of leveraging multi-informant reports of FA. With regard to the latter aim, we offer preliminary suggestions for how clinicians might incorporate measures of FA into their practice to maximize benefits for anxious youth and their families. We also offer suggestions for how future research can build on these novel findings, advance methods of FA assessment, and promote its clinical utility.

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Society of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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