Relationship between adult social phobia and childhood anxiety

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Manfro,Gisele Gus ; Isolan,Luciano ; Blaya,Carolina ; Maltz,Sandra ; Heldt,Elizeth ; Pollack,Mark H (2003)
  • Publisher: Associação Brasileira de Psiquiatria - ABP
  • Subject: Social phobia | Childhood anxiety | Trauma | Comorbidity | Depression

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of traumas and the presence of childhood anxiety disorders in adult patients with social phobia and investigate their influence on the presentation of the disorder. METHODS: Twenty-four adult patients with social phobia were asked about the presence of trauma before the age of 16. The K-SADS-E and the DICA-P interviews were used to assess these patients regarding childhood anxiety disorders. RESULTS: Twelve (50%) patients reported a history of trauma before the age of 16. The presence of trauma did not influence the presentation of the disorder. Seventy-five percent of patients had a history of anxiety disorders in childhood. Patients with a history of at least 2 childhood anxiety disorders had an increased lifetime prevalence of major depression (10 vs. 3; p=.04) and family history of psychiatric disorders (13 vs. 6; p=.02). CONCLUSION: Anxiety disorder in childhood is associated with family history of psychiatric disorders. The presence of more than one diagnosis of anxiety disorder in childhood can be considered a risk factor for the development of depression in adult patients with social phobia.
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