Monika Anna Walczak forsvarer sin ph.d.-afhandling ved Institut for Psykologi – Københavns Universitet

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Monika Anna Walczak forsvarer sin ph.d.-afhandling ved Institut for Psykologi


Monika Anna Walczak


Investigating non-response to cognitive behavioral therapy among anxious children: predictors and moderators of treatment outcomes”. Afhandlingen fremlægges til gennemsyn på Det Samfundsvidenskabelige Fakultetsbibliotek, Gothersgade 140, 1353 København K.

Tid og sted

Tirsdag den 29. maj kl. 14:00. Københavns Universitet, Center for Sundhed og Samfund, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 København K, lokale 1.1.18. Af hensyn til kandidaten lukkes dørene præcis.


  • Professor Mso Ingo Zettler, Institut for Psykologi, Københavns Universitet (formand)      
  • Associate Professor, Dr. Polly Waite, University of Reading, UK       


Approximately 40% of children treated for anxiety disorders with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) do not adequately respond to treatment. The aim of the present dissertation was to examine possible predictors of non-response to CBT in anxious youth, as well as explore moderators of outcomes in CBT and metacognitive therapy for children (MCT-c). Although the study of predictors and moderators has received increasing attention in recent years, it is still unknown which treatment works best for whom and under what circumstances in pediatric anxiety disorders. This thesis advances the existing knowledge by re-examining findings regarding comorbidity as a predictor of treatment outcomes, and by empirically testing whether attachment security may affect treatment for children with anxiety. Additionally, to assess which treatment may be more beneficial to children with specific baseline characteristics, CBT and MCT-c were compared with regard to possible moderators of treatment outcomes. The findings of the review suggest that comorbid disorders may have a more negative impact on treatment outcomes than proposed in previous reviews, particularly in the cases of social anxiety and mood disorders. The results of the second study showed that maternal insecure attachment may also have hindering effects on treatment for childhood anxiety. The findings from the final study indicated that age, symptom severity, comorbid social anxiety disorder, and completion of previous treatment did not have moderating effects on treatment outcomes. Current findings offer important clinical implications. To reduce non-response, better matching of treatments for children with comorbid depression and social anxiety disorders is recommended. Maternal relationships with the children should also be monitored and addressed in treatment if necessary. Finally, metacognitive therapy for children may be a promising alternative for children with generalized anxiety disorder.