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J Anxiety Disord. 2000 May-Jun;14(3):263-79.

Frequency, comorbidity, and psychosocial impairment of anxiety disorders in German adolescents.

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Center for Rehabilitation Research, University of Bremen, Germany.


The frequency, comorbidity, and psychosocial impairment of anxiety disorders among German adolescents was estimated from a survey of 1,035 students aged 12-17 years. The adolescents were randomly selected from 36 schools in the province of Bremen, Germany. Anxiety disorders and other psychiatric disorders were coded based on criteria from the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, using the computerized Munich version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Anxiety disorders occurred frequently in our sample of adolescents, with a rate of 18.6%. When considering the subtypes of anxiety disorders, phobia was the most common. Posttraumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder occurred less frequently with rates below 2%. Panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder were the least common, with rates well below 1%. Anxiety disorders were significantly higher in girls than in boys, and that the rates increased with age. Comorbidity occurs quite frequently, both within the anxiety disorders and also with other psychiatric disorders. The most common pattern of comorbidity was that of anxiety and depressive disorders. Although a high number of anxiety cases were psychosocially impaired, at least during the worst episode of their disorders, only a few of them sought treatment for their problems. We conclude by discussing some research priorities in the area of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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