Cognitive coping as a mechanism of change in cognitive-behavioral therapy for fear of flying: A longitudinal study with 3-year follow-up.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of Clinical Psychology , Volume 73, p.1064-1075 (2017)




Emotion regulation; Mechanism of change; Aviophobia; Anxiety; CBT


Objectives: To examine the predictive value of cognitive coping strategies at pre-treatment
and the value of changes in these strategies during cognitive-behavioral treatment for
aviophobia for long-term therapy results.
Method: Data from baseline, after therapy at 2 months, short-term follow-up at 5 months and
long-term follow-up at 41 months were analyzed (N = 59).
Results: Participants were in a long-term process of change, which continued positively after
therapy for maladaptive cognitive coping strategies. The use of cognitive coping strategies at
baseline was not predictive of long-term outcome. However, a greater increase in the use of
adaptive coping strategies, and more importantly, a greater decrease in the use of maladaptive
coping strategies were predictive of improvements indicated in self-report of flight anxiety
and actual flight behavior at long-term follow-up.
Conclusion: Improvement of maladaptive cognitive coping strategies is possibly a key
mechanism of change in cognitive-behavioral therapy for aviophobia.