Mediators and Moderators of Outcome in the Behavioral Treatment of Childhood Social Phobia

Candice A. Alfano, Armando A. Pina, Ian K. Villalta, Deborah C. Beidel, Robert T. Ammerman, Lori E. Crosby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Objective: The current study examined mediators and moderators of treatment response among children and adolescents (ages 7-17 years) with a primary diagnosis of social phobia. Method: Participants were 88 youths participating in one of two randomized controlled treatment trials of Social Effectiveness Therapy for Children. Potential mediators included changes in observer-rated social skill and child-reported loneliness after 12 weeks of Social Effectiveness Therapy for Children. Age and depressive symptoms were examined as potential moderators. Results: Loneliness scores and social effectiveness during a role-play task predicted changes in social anxiety and overall functioning at posttreatment. Changes in social anxiety were mediated by child-reported loneliness. Outcomes were not moderated by age or depressive symptoms. Conclusions: Findings support the role of loneliness as an important mechanism of change during treatment for childhood social phobia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)945-953
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • mediators
  • moderators
  • social phobia
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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