Childhood anxiety disorders: Best treatment options and practice

Book Section

Introduction Growing up with an anxiety disorder that interferes with everyday life activities and enjoyment can be a painful and exhausting experience, both for the child and for his or her caregivers. Unfortunately, anxiety disorders often are not identified, and when they are, the most appropriate treatment may not be available or provided. It is necessary to differentiate developmentally appropriate childhood anxiety and the clinical presentation of impairing anxiety disorders. We provide a brief overview of how to identify normal from abnormal anxiety in childhood, review evidence-based treatment options, present our recommendations for best practice, and propose directions for future anxiety treatment research. Child anxiety: what is normal and what is not Most children experience some developmentally appropriate fear or worry. For example, many infants fear strangers or loud noises, while toddlers can be afraid of separation from their parents or of monsters. Five-and six-year-olds worry about their physical well-being, while school-age children are more concerned with school performance, social ability, natural events (e.g., hurricane), and illnesses (Muris et al. 1998a). In middle childhood, worries can multiply about a variety of issues, perhaps because children develop more complex cognitive abilities (Vasey et al. 1994). Adolescents' concerns usually focus on social competence and evaluation, independent functioning, and academic performance.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Vidair, HB; Rynn, MA

Published Date

  • January 1, 2010

Book Title

  • Anxiety Disorders: Theory, Research, and Clinical Perspectives

Start / End Page

  • 306 - 322

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780521515573

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/CBO9780511777578.029

Citation Source

  • Scopus