Study targets middle schoolers who have excessive worry and who are tough to manage

It involves weekly treatments for children and their parents along with pre- and post-treatment assessments. Participation in the study is free.

Youth with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) experience excessive worries that are hard to stop and occur more days than not. The children might also experience physical symptoms such as stomach aches or headaches, and their worries are associated with a high degree of interference and impairment in their daily lives.

“These children can experience a wide variety of recurring worries, including worries about school, friends, family, health, and world events,” said Tom Ollendick, University Distinguished Professor of Psychology, licensed clinical psychologist, and director of the center, which is a part of the Department of Psychology in the university’s College of Science.

Oppositional definite disorder (ODD) is marked by negative, defiant, disobedient, and hostile behavior, particularly towards authority figures.  When GAD and ODD occur together, it causes significant stress on the child and family members.

“While many psychological treatments target one of these problems at a time, our experimental approach is designed to treat both concurrently.” Maria Fraire director of the project said.

The project is for middle-school children. The treatment involves emotion-focused cognitive behavioral therapy designed to help the child identify and regulate their emotions. In addition, family members will learn to identify patterns of unsolved problems that lead to the child’s negative behaviors and how to work together to solve these problems.  This is the first study of its kind to treat these problems at the same time.

To see if your child qualifies for this confidential study, email Maria Fraire or call 540-231-2024.

The College of Science at Virginia Tech gives students a comprehensive foundation in the scientific method. Outstanding faculty members teach courses and conduct research in biological sciences, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics. The college offers programs in cutting-edge areas including, among others, those in energy and the environment, developmental science across the lifespan, infectious diseases, computational science, nanoscience, and neuroscience. The College of Science is dedicated to fostering a research-intensive environment that promotes scientific inquiry and outreach.

 Catherine Doss     540-231-5035     [email protected]