Social phobia and separation anxiety symptoms in community and clinical samples of children and adolescents.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the developmental progression and pattern of self-reported symptoms of social phobia (SP) and separation anxiety (SA) in community (n = 2,384) and clinical (n = 217) samples of children and adolescents, using a cross-sectional method. METHOD: Subjects were cross-classified by age, gender, and race. Using mean scores on the SP and SA subscales of the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children, 4 categories of children were established: HighSP/HighSA, HighSP/LowSA, LowSP/HighSA, and LowSP/LowSA. Data were analyzed using a generalized logit model. RESULTS: Community sample: Preadolescents and females reported more symptoms of HighSP/HighSA and LowSP/HighSA than adolescents and males. White children reported more symptoms of HighSP/LowSA, while the opposite pattern was found among African-American children. Clinical sample: Similar to the community sample, preadolescents reported more symptoms of HighSP/HighSA. However, clinical males reported more symptoms of LowSP/HighSA than clinical females. CONCLUSIONS: In general, adolescents endorsed more symptoms of SP and fewer symptoms of SA than preadolescent children. Irrespective of age, white children endorsed more symptoms of SP and fewer symptoms of SA than African-American children. In the community sample, preadolescent boys endorsed more symptoms of SA and fewer symptoms of SP, suggesting a possible referral bias.
Compton, SN; Nelson, AH; March, JS
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