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Am J Psychiatry. 1992 Oct;149(10):1306-14.

Panic disorder in children and adolescents: a review.

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College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY.



Panic disorder has been considered an adulthood disorder that does not occur in children or adolescents. The authors' goals were to critically review the available evidence for panic attacks and/or panic disorder in children and adolescents, to review the limited data on the biological basis of panic disorder as it has been studied in children and adolescents, to discuss the possible treatment approaches for panic disorder in children, and to suggest potential opportunities for further research on panic disorder in children.


Sixty-three articles pertaining to panic disorder in children and adolescents were critically reviewed. These articles included retrospective histories of adults with panic disorder, clinical case reports of children and adolescents with panic disorder, studies of psychiatrically referred children and adolescents, reports from epidemiologic community and school samples of children and adolescents, studies of children and adolescents at risk for psychiatric disorder, reports of panic-like symptoms in pediatric patients, family studies of panic, studies of the biological basis of panic in adults, and studies of treatment for panic.


There is strong evidence that panic disorder occurs in children and adolescents and that its clinical presentation in this population is similar to that found in adults.


Extending the many adult studies of panic disorder to children and adolescents would be extremely fruitful. Like adults with panic disorder, many children and adolescents are brought to emergency and medical clinics for the physical symptoms of unrecognized panic disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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