Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 1-1-2017


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



School Psychology


School of Education

Committee Chair

Elizabeth McCallum

Committee Member

Ara Schmitt

Committee Member

Laura Crothers


Children with comorbid anxiety disorders and externalizing problem behaviors and disorders pose an interesting challenge for clinicians. These children are at the greatest risk for the poorest outcomes in several areas of functioning including academics, interpersonal relationships, and emotional regulation. The current single subject research study was implemented to evaluate the effect of an anxiety reduction intervention, Coping Cat, on participants’ anxiety symptoms and behavior problems. The design included a baseline phase, an intervention phase, and a maintenance phase following the implementation of the intervention. Across all three phases, one or more trained research assistants collected behavioral observation data twice per week. Additionally, during both the baseline and maintenance phases, students and teachers completed rating forms, including a broad behavior measure and narrow anxiety and depression measures.

Participants included two eleven-year-old students and one twelve-year-old student; two students were African American, one Caucasian. Each of the three students had at least one anxiety diagnosis and one externalizing diagnosis.

It was hypothesized that the successful treatment of the participants’ anxiety symptoms would reduce externalizing symptoms. Results were consistent with this hypothesis. Across participants, there was an overall decrease in the level of externalizing problem behaviors observed in the classroom during the course of the intervention and following the intervention. It was also hypothesized that the participants would experience a reduction of anxiety symptomatology. These data were somewhat variable, depending on scale and rater.