10 - Temperament and anxiety in children and adolescents  pp. 198-224


By Christopher J. Lonigan, Beth M. Phillips, Shauna B. Wilson and Nicholas P. Allan

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Problematic anxiety and anxiety disorders are common forms of emotional disturbance affecting children and adolescents. Estimates of the prevalence of anxiety disorders in child and adolescent populations range from 3% to 25%, depending on the specific anxiety disorder diagnosis, the classification system used, and whether or not a stringent functional impairment criterion is employed (e.g., Costello, Egger, & Angold, 2005; Costello, Egger, Copeland, Erkanli, & Angold, Chapter 3, this volume). Although anxiety disorders in childhood often remit within 3 to 4 years (Last, Perrin, Hersen, & Kazdin, 1996), some cases of childhood anxiety disorder have a chronic course (Keller, Lavori, Wunder, Beardslee, Schwartz, & Roth, 1992; Last et al., 1996; Orvaschel, Lewinsohn, & Seeley, 1995), and many adult anxiety disorders may have their onset in childhood or adolescence (Burke, Burke, Regier, & Rae, 1990; Kendler, Neale, Kessler, Heath, & Eaves, 1992). Moreover, even when a specific anxiety disorder in youth does not persist, it may represent significant risk for other disorders, particularly other anxiety disorders, depression, and substance abuse (Kendall, Safford, Flannery-Schroeder, & Webb, 2004; Last et al., 1996; Lewinsohn, Zinbarg, Seeley, Lewinsohn, & Sack, 1997; Moffitt et al., 2007; Orvaschel et al., 1995; Woodward & Fergusson, 2001). These findings indicate that anxiety disorders in children and adolescents are both common and associated with significant negative sequelae. Consequently, there is significant need to understand factors that are associated with the development and maintenance of anxiety.

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