Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2019

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in School Psychology


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Margaret Potter


Anxiety and Behavior, Brief Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, School, Coping Cat


The prevalence of anxiety in school-age children is on the rise. Schools offer a unique opportunity to identify children who struggle with symptoms of anxiety and to provide interventions to reduce anxiety. This project evaluated the results of providing the Coping Cat cognitive behavioral program in a public elementary school with a fourth-grade student named Dawson (a pseudonym) with a history of behavioral problems and a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Dawson completed 8 sessions (on 7 days) of the 16-session curriculum of Coping Cat in the school setting at a rate of approximately two sessions per week. Despite receiving only 8 of the 16 sessions of the program and with no parent involvement, the Dawson demonstrated improvement in the behaviors measured (e.g., aggression, keeping hands to self, blurting). Results support the use of a brief version of Coping Cat as an effective program for anxiety reduction that may feasibly be implemented in the school setting. Discussion includes implications for application of school-based intervention using cognitive behavioral strategies to reduce anxiety symptoms.



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