Risk factors for psychopathology are variables that increase the likelihood that an individual will experience mental health disorder. According to work by Kathleen Merikangas and colleagues, anxiety disorders are one of the most common forms of psychopathology experienced in childhood and adolescence. Additionally, anxiety disorders often result in social, academic, and functional impairment throughout the lifespan, including consequences associated with the development of additional mental health disorders and related behaviors (e.g., substance abuse, self-injurious behaviors, mood disorders, or additional anxiety disorders). Risk factors for anxiety in childhood include biological and environmental vulnerabilities. Investigating such underlying risk factors for anxiety disorders in childhood can lead to a better understanding of the developmental psychopathology of these common forms of mental health disorders. This entry briefly introduces research ...

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