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Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev. 2001 Mar;4(1):37-61.

Social anxiety disorder in childhood and adolescence: current status and future directions.

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Department of Psychology, State University of New York at Buffalo, 14260-4110, USA.


This paper reviews the current status of research on the phenomenology, etiology, maintenance, assessment, and treatment of childhood and adolescent social anxiety disorder (SAD). Despite being one of the most prevalent disorders of childhood and adolescence, SAD paradoxically stands as one of the least recognized, researched, and treated pediatric disorders. The small treatment outcome literature provides preliminary support to the effectiveness of various forms of cognitive behavior therapy. The majority of studies to date, however, are limited by inadequate control conditions. Other findings include some support for the utility of parental involvement in treatment, significant advancements in outcome measures (e.g., normative comparisons, indices of naturalistic social functioning), and impressive durability of gains for the majority of treatments. Future directions are suggested, including experimental and naturalistic studies of developmental pathways and maintenance factors, the incorporation of "positive psychology" constructs (e.g., positive emotions, hope, self-control) in treatment and prevention, and the continued delineation of differences between child, adolescent, and adult manifestations of SAD.

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