Parent-Child Agreement on Family Accommodation Differentially Predicts Outcomes of Child-Based and Parent-Based Child Anxiety Treatment

Sigal Zilcha-Mano, Yaara Shimshoni, Wendy K. Silverman, Eli R. Lebowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Family accommodation is linked to poor treatment outcomes for childhood anxiety. Progress in research on the role of accommodation in treatment has been hindered by the relatively weak association between child and parent reports on accommodation. In this study, we suggest that parent-child agreement on family accommodation may provide a dependable estimation of this construct, and investigated whether the level of parent-child agreement on family accommodation predicts subsequent treatment outcome. We further examined whether the effect was greater in Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE), which directly targets family accommodation, than in individual child-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Methods: Participants were 104 children (aged 6–15) with anxiety disorders, and their mothers, randomized to SPACE or CBT. Accommodation was rated by mothers and children before treatment, halfway through treatment, and at treatment end, using respective versions of Family Accommodation Scale–Anxiety. To accurately estimate agreement, we conducted multilevel response surface analysis by polynomial regression, with agreement on accommodation at each time point predicting subsequent child anxiety severity, over the course of treatment. Results: Parent-child agreement and disagreement on accommodation were significant predictors of subsequent anxiety symptom severity. Different results were obtained for SPACE and CBT, suggesting potentially distinct underlying mechanisms. Conclusions: The findings suggest treatment-specific roles of accommodation in SPACE vs. CBT. Multiple-informant assessment of accommodation provides important information, which may have important implications for optimal treatment personalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-439
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Society of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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