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Informing early intervention: preschool predictors of anxiety disorders in middle childhood.

Hudson JL, et al. PLoS One. 2012.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: To inform early intervention practice, the present research examines how child anxiety, behavioural inhibition, maternal overinvolvement, maternal negativity, mother-child attachment and maternal anxiety, as assessed at age four, predict anxiety at age nine.

METHOD: 202 children (102 behaviourally inhibited and 100 behaviourally uninhibited) aged 3-4 years were initially recruited and the predictors outlined above were assessed. Diagnostic assessments, using the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule, were then conducted five years later.

RESULTS: Behavioural inhibition, maternal anxiety, and maternal overinvolvement were significant predictors of clinical anxiety, even after controlling for baseline anxiety (p<.05). No significant effect of negativity or attachment security was found over and above baseline anxiety (p>.1).

CONCLUSIONS: Preschool children who show anxiety, are inhibited, have overinvolved mothers and mothers with anxiety disorders are at increased risk for anxiety in middle childhood. These factors can be used to identify suitable participants for early intervention and can be targeted within intervention programs.

PMID

22905126 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

PMCID

PMC3414481

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