Phobias and anxiety disorders in childhood do not always go away over time and can increase the risk of worsening mental-health problems, teenage pregnancy, dropping out of high school and not going on to college and university. There is now quite a lot of evidence that exposure-based cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) which aims to gradually get people used to what they are frightened of and change their thinking about it is effective at treating these problems but little research has been done into its long-term effectiveness. A team of researchers led by Lissette M. Saavedra from RTI International in North Carolina studied 67 people who had received exposure-based CBT as children and followed them up between eight and 13 years later to see how they were getting on. The study found that the participants' problems were still under control a long time after treatment.
Saavedra, Lissette ... [et al] - Cognitive behavioral treatment for childhood anxiety disorders: long-term effects on anxiety and secondary disorders in young adulthood Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry August 2010, 51(8), 924-934