Anxiety in Childhood: Epidemiology

Anxiety disorders are characterized by overwhelming fear, anxious unease, and resultant behavioral disturbances. Seven anxiety disorders are defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition(DSM-5): (1) separation anxiety disorder (SAD), (2) selective mutism, (3) specific phobia, (4) social anxiety disorder, (5) panic disorder, (6) agoraphobia, and (7) generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Although considered an anxiety disorder in DSM-IV, the prior version of the diagnostic manual, DSM-5 reclassified obsessive-compulsive disorder into a category of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.

Frequency rates of anxiety disorders can provide helpful information to individuals involved in prevention, diagnostics, and treatment. Each of the aforementioned anxiety disorders appears in children; however, their prevalence rates, developmental trajectories, and length of symptom presentation vary greatly by disorder. Prevalence refers to the ...

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