Anxiety in Childhood: Social Factors

There are numerous factors that help explain why some children are more likely than others to develop an anxiety disorder, and these include a host of biological and psychological vulnerabilities. It is clear from decades of research on the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders that social factors play a large role in the etiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders in youth. For example, one’s social experiences can function to “waken” dormant biological vulnerabilities, and one’s social observations of others might also affect which situations or objects cause one to become frightened. Social factors can help explain why some children might experience a specific phobia of dogs, whereas other children might experience social anxiety or a specific phobia of thunder. This entry describes current ...

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