Parent and child factors associated with parental interest to participate in ACE: a parent-administered, internet-delivered CBT intervention for child anxiety
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If left untreated, anxiety could translate its harmful effects onto later development, making it crucial to treat it in its earlier stages, where it often begins in childhood (Kessler et al., 2007). However, very few children with mental illnesses utilize mental health services (Shanley, Reid & Evans, 2008). This service gap needs to be addressed. A relatively novel yet promising therapeutic intervention that could potentially reduce the service gap is parent-administered, Internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy (PAiCBT) interventions, with the Anxiety treatment for Children through online Education course (ACE) being an example. ACE was designed to reduce child anxiety in particular. Since this promising type of intervention is in its infant stages, it is important to build on its literature by determining which parent and child factors are associated with parental interest to participate in this type of program. To measure parental factors, 165 Canadian parents who have 7 to 12 year old children with anxiety were surveyed about their demographics, mental health, self-efficacy levels, Internet proficiency and prior experiences of seeking mental health services for their child. Questions regarding their child’s factors, such as their anxiety levels and gender, were also asked. Correlational analyses were conducted to determine that increasing parental education, stress, selfefficacy, Internet proficiency, and child anxiety levels were associated with parental interest to participate in ACE. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses determined that parental self-efficacy, Internet proficiency, and child’s anxiety severity had the strongest associations with interest. Recruiting highly efficacious and Internet-proficient parents for PA-iCBT is therefore recommended.
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