Anxiety disorders in a pediatric sample
Three hundred children aged 7 to 11, selected from a sequential sample of 789 children enrolled in a health maintenance organization (HMO), were the subjects of this study of the prevalence and correlates of anxiety disorders. Psychiatric interviews with 300 children and parents, using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC), yielded a one-year weighted prevalence for one or more DSM-III anxiety disorders od 15.4%, combining diagnoses based on either child or parent interviews. The prevalence rate for anxiety disorders based on parent interviews alone was one half as high (6.6%) as the rate based on child interviews alone (10.5%). Ratings of psychiatric symptomalogy and functional impairmaent in children with anxiety disorders relative to other children differed as a function of the source of the information. Parents of children with anxiety disorders judged them to have good social function but high levels of psychiatric symptoms, relative to parents of children with no disorders. Teachers judged anxious children to have no more sychopathology than normal children, but to show impaired social and academic functioning. factors associated with an increased likelihood of anxiety disorders, based on both parent and child interviews, were school failures, stressful life events, maternal anxiety or depression, and being female. Physical illness and high levels of pediatric service utilization were not associated with increased anxiety. The findings are discussed in light of other community studies of anxiety disorders in children. © 1990.
Benjamin, RS; Costello, EJ; Warren, M
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