The Anna Freud Centre’s online research library contains a collection of evidence-based material on children and young people’s mental health, written and co-written by our team. The research explores factors relating to:
anxiety | behavioural difficulties | depression | digital mental health | empowering young people and families | early years | evaluation | fostering and adoption | intervention | maltreatment and abuse | measures | mentalization | methodology | neurodiversity | parents and carers| prevalence and trends | prevention | psychological therapies | resources | risk and resilience | social care | trauma | wellbeing
The library is managed by our team of evidence experts. It is updated on a regular basis and currently consists of research published between 2018 and 2023.
Please be aware that links to our open-access papers lead to external sites and that the management, data handling and administration of these external sites is not the Anna Freud Centre’s responsibility.
Understanding the illness representations of young people with anxiety and depression: a qualitative study
Many young people with anxiety or depression drop out of treatment early, and/or leave treatment without showing measurably improved symptom levels. This study aimed to provide a qualitative account of illness perceptions among youth with anxiety and depression by applying the Common Sense Model of Self-Regulation, which was developed in physical health contexts.
Authors: Bear, H. A., Krause, K.R., Edbrooke‐Childs, J., & Wolpert, M. (2021).
How to manage endings in unsuccessful therapy: a qualitative comparison of youth and clinician perspectives
Approximately half of those who access child and adolescent mental health services do not show measurable improvement in symptoms. This study aimed to provide practice recommendations for managing treatment endings, particularly when outcomes have not improved.
Authors: Bear, H. A., Dalzell, K., Edbrooke-Childs, J., Garland, L., & Wolpert, M. (2021).
What metrics of harm are being captured in clinical trials involving talking treatments for young people? A systematic review of registered studies on the ISRCTN
The recording of harm and adverse events in psychological trials is essential, yet the types of harm being captured in trials for talking treatments involving children and young people have not been systematically investigated. The aim of this review was to determine how often harm and adverse events are recorded in talking treatments for children and young people, as well as the metrics that are being collected.
Authors: Hayes, D., Za'ba, N. (2021).
Associations between child mental health, carer worry and help-seeking
Carers may not always express child mental health concerns to health professionals. Therefore, identifying factors delaying help-seeking is important. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between carer affect and help-seeking.
Authors: Liverpool, S., Edbrooke-Childs, J. (2021).
A qualitative investigation of LGBTQ+ young people’s experiences and perceptions of self-managing their mental health
LGBTQ+ young people are more likely than their peers to experience a mental health difficulty and may be less likely to draw on specialist support due to fears of discrimination. However, little is known about LGBTQ+ young people's experiences and perceptions of self-managing their mental health. Using a multimodal qualitative design, 20 LGBTQ+ young people participated in a telephone interview or an online focus group.
Authors: Town, R., Hayes, D., Fonagy, P., Stapley, E. (2021).
Are we comparing apples with oranges? Assessing improvement across symptoms, functioning, and goal progress for adolescent anxiety and depression
This study drew on naturalistic outcome data from 1641 adolescents with moderate or severe anxiety and/or depression symptoms who received routine specialist care across 60 mental health services in England. The study compared rates of meaningful improvement between the domains of internalizing symptoms, functioning, and progress towards self-defined goals. Consistent cross-domain improvement was observed in only 15.6% of cases.
Authors: Krause, K. R., Edbrooke-Childs, J., Singleton, R., & Wolpert, W. (2021).
A systematic review of shared decision making interventions in child and youth mental health: synthesising the use of theory, intervention functions, and behaviour change techniques.
Reviews around interventions to improve shared decision making (SDM) for child and youth mental health have produced inconclusive findings on what approaches increase participation. Importantly, the previous reviews did not explore the use of theory, as well as mechanisms of change (intervention functions) and active units of change (behaviour change techniques). The aim of this review was to explore these factors and ascertain how, if at all, these contribute to SDM.
Authors: Hayes, D., Edbrooke-Childs, J., Town, R., Wolpert, M. & Midgley, N. (2021).
Young people who meaningfully improve are more likely to mutually agree to end treatment
Symptom improvement is often examined as an indicator of a good outcome of accessing mental health services. However, there is little evidence of whether symptom improvement is associated with other indicators of a good outcome, such as a mutual agreement to end treatment. The aim of this study was to examine whether young people accessing mental health services who meaningfully improved were more likely to mutually agree to end treatment.
Authors: Edbrooke-Childs, J., Costa da Silva, L., Čuš, A., Liverpool, S., Pinheiro Mota, C., Pietrabissa, G., Bardsley, T., Sales, C. M. D., Ulberg, R., Jacob, J., & Ferreira, N. (2021).
A narrative review of reviews of interconnecting risks (IR) of mental health problems for young people
The aim of this narrative review is to examine the most prevalent multiple or interconnecting risks of mental health problems that have been identified in previous reviews of the literature and to examine those most prevalent for children and young people.
Authors: Edbrooke-Childs, J., Deighton, J. (2021).
Association between single session service attendance and clinical characteristics in administrative data
A large proportion of young people accessing specialist mental health services do so for a single session. The aim of the present study was to examine the characteristics of young people attending specialist mental health services for a single session and to examine associations between single session attendance and clinical characteristics.
Authors: Edbrooke-Childs J., Hayes, D., Lane, R., Liverpool, S., Jacob, J. & Deighton, J. (2021).