Category: Child / Adolescent - Anxiety

PS11- #B49 - College Students Rated Recovered Memory Therapy as a More Effective Treatment Than Exposure Therapy for Childhood Anxiety

Saturday, Nov 18
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Child Anxiety | Exposure | Evidence-Based Practice

Recovered-memory therapy (RMT) is an ineffective and harmful treatment (Dineen, 2001; Lilienfeld, 2011). On the other hand, exposure therapy is a well-established treatment (Higa-McMillan et al., 2015). We examined college student beliefs about these two treatments for childhood anxiety at the beginning of a Child Psychology course. In the next semester, we conducted a second study to see if the results would replicate. The first study included 76 students (82% female, 18% male, 68% Caucasian, 22% African American, 5% Hispanic, 1% Asian, 1% pacific islander, & the rest indicated “other”; 20% freshman, 25% sophomore, 47% junior, 8% senior; mean age = 20.8). The second study included 104 students (78% female, 22% male, 79% Caucasian, 12% African American, 4% Asian, 2% Hispanic, 2% American Indian, & the rest were “other”; 6% freshman, 37% sophomore, 42% junior, 15% senior; mean age = 20.6). Students in both cohorts completed the Common Aspects of Treatment Scale (CATS) that was developed for these two studies. In addition to asking students about their belief about the effectiveness of RMT and exposure therapy for anxiety in children, it also asked students to rate their belief about treatments for other issues of childhood as well (e.g., hyperactivity). Each item includes a 4-point Likert scale (1 = “not effective,” 2 = “probably not effective,” 3 = “probably effective,” 4 = “effective”). Contrary to our hypothesis for the first study, students believed that RMT (M = 2.45; SD = 0.90) was more effective than exposure therapy (M = 1.96; SD = 0.89) as a treatment for anxiety, t(75) = 3.732, p < .001. The effect size is very large (Cohen’s d = 0.75). In terms of percentages, 48.6% of the students believed RMT was at least “probably effective,” while 31.5% believed exposure therapy was at least “probably effective.” The results of the second study replicated the results from the first study and will be included on the poster. Together, both studies highlight the important need to disseminate information to students about both evidence-based treatments and harmful treatments.

Stephen Hupp

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Edwardsville, Illinois

Devin Barlaan

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Emily Fischer

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Madison Schoen

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Sydney Thompson

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Elizabeth McKenney

Assistant Professor
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville