Factors associated with practitioners’ use of exposure therapy for childhood anxiety disorders

Stephen P.H. Whiteside, Brett J. Deacon, Kristen Benito, Elyse Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The current study examines factors related to use of exposure therapy by clinicians who treat children with anxiety disorders. A sample of 331 therapists from a variety of backgrounds (i.e., social workers, doctoral psychologists, masters level counselors, and marriage and family therapists) completed a survey regarding use of exposure and other treatment techniques for childhood anxiety disorders, as well as beliefs about exposure and child resiliency. Although the majority of therapists endorsed a CBT orientation (81%) and use of CBT techniques, exposure therapy was rarely endorsed. Holding a PhD in psychology as well as more positive beliefs about exposure and child resiliency were associated with greater use of exposure. The results suggest that exposure-based therapy is rarely offered in community settings and that dissemination should focus on individual evidence-based principles and correcting therapist misconceptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-36
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of anxiety disorders
StatePublished - May 2016


  • Anxiety disorders
  • CBT
  • Child
  • Community
  • Exposure
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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