In cognitive behavioral therapy, treatment is based on how someone's thoughts and beliefs influence their actions and moods. The treatment focuses on their current problems and how to solve them.
"We can use this same intervention to improve children's skills more broadly regardless of what emotional challenge they have," Jonathan Weiss, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health at York University in Toronto, said in a press release. "We can make them more resilient to many emotional and mental health issues."
The trial, conducted from January 2013 to April 2016, included 68 children between age 8 and 12 and their parents, mostly mothers. They were randomly assigned to one of two groups, receiving either 10 sessions starting right away and waiting to receive treatment at a later time.
The participants' emotions and behavior were tracked, and then the children were reviewed by a doctor who was not directly involved with their treatment and did not know which of the two groups each participant was in.
Among those in the treatment group, 74 percent's behavior improved, compared with 31 percent in the waitlist group.