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Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2005;1:197-225.

Panic disorder, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.


This chapter provides a review of recent empirical developments, current controversies, and areas in need of further research in relation to factors that are common as well as specific to the etiology and maintenance of panic disorder, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder. The relative contribution of broad risk factors to these disorders is discussed, including temperament, genetics, biological influences, cognition, and familial variables. In addition, the role that specific learning experiences play in relation to each disorder is reviewed. In an overarching hierarchical model, it is proposed that generalized anxiety disorder, and to some extent panic disorder, loads most heavily on broad underlying factors, whereas specific life history contributes most strongly to circumscribed phobias.

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