Becoming a Cool Kid

In a new article published in the journal Canadian Psychology, authors presented the results of a meta-analysis synthesizing the available research on the family of studies belonging to the Cool Kids Program, a cognitive–behavioral intervention for anxiety disorders in youth, and evaluate its overall effectiveness in addressing anxious symptomatology. A search of online databases, combined with reference list examination and communication with program implementers/developers, led to the identification of (16) studies that explored the effects of the Cool Kids Program (N = 1579), or its forerunners or extensions. Analyses focused on child- and parent-report of anxiety, with effect sizes aggregated according to a random effects model and calculated as differences between intervention and control groups at posttreatment (standardized mean difference [SMD]) as well as by considering the changes in scores between time points (e.g., standardized mean gain [SMG]). Analyses indicate superior improvement for youth receiving the Cool Kids intervention as compared with controls according to SMD analyses for both child- and parent-report, as well as for SMG analyses according to parent-report, though not according to child self-report despite a nearly identical aggregated effect size; the latter was attributable to greater gains reported by youth in control conditions; secondary analyses also suggest significantly greater improvements in automatic thoughts for Cool Kids participants. This intervention has been implemented in different modalities, holds considerable promise, and in the contemporary context of evidence-based practice, should be considered a program with strong empirical support. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

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