A Handbook for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Best Practices for Educators and Community Partners
Students with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) present a unique and intensifying challenge and learning opportunity for practitioners in educational settings. Many educators and community partners feel ill-equipped to handle the increasing demand to support these students’ unique mental health needs. Therefore, the purpose of this project was threefold: a) to augment practitioner knowledge regarding generalized anxiety; b) to enhance practitioner ability and confidence to identify anxiety symptomatology; and c) to develop a practical resource that provides evidence-based strategies and lesson plans for practitioners to support school-age children with generalized anxiety. Five practitioners with experience working in educational settings voluntarily participated in a need assessment. Based on practitioner identified gaps and a literature review, A Handbook for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Best Practices for Educators and Community Partners was created. The theoretical framework examined for this project was based on social-cognitive theory, specifically Bandura's (1986) theory of triadic reciprocity and reciprocal determinism. This theory places emphasis on the complex interplay of personal, environmental and behavioural factors which contribute to the development of anxiety disorders. Once the handbook was complete, an Evaluative Questionnaire was circulated among the same practitioners to determine its efficacy, relevance and practicality. Implications for future research were considered and the limitations of this study were examined.