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Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2005 Jun;27(2):97-100. Epub 2005 Jun 13.

Behavioral inhibition and history of childhood anxiety disorders in Brazilian adult patients with panic disorder and social anxiety disorder.

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Anxiety Disorders Program, Psychiatric Service, Hospital de ClĂ­nicas de Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.



To evaluate the presence of behavioral inhibition and anxiety disorders during childhood in Brazilian adult patients with panic disorder and social anxiety disorder compared to a control group.


Fifty patients with panic disorder, 50 patients with social anxiety disorder, and 50 control subjects were included in the study. To assess the history of childhood anxiety, the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School Age Children, Epidemiologic Version (K-SADS-E), and the Diagnostic Interview for Children and Adolescents-Parent Version (DICA-P) were used. The presence of behavioral inhibition in childhood was assessed by the self-reported scale of Behavioral Inhibition Retrospective Version (RSRI-30).


Patients showed significantly higher prevalence of anxiety disorders and behavioral inhibition in childhood compared to the control group. Patients with social anxiety disorder also showed significantly higher rates of avoidance disorder (46% vs. 18%, p = 0.005), social anxiety disorder (60% vs. 26%, p = 0.001), presence of at least one anxiety disorder (82% vs. 56%, p = 0.009) and global behavioral inhibition (2.89 +/- 0.61 vs. 2.46 +/- 0.61, p < 0.05) and school/social behavioral inhibition (3.56 +/- 0.91 vs. 2.67 +/- 0.82, p < 0.05) in childhood compared to patients with panic disorder.


Our data are in accordance to the literature and corroborates the theory of an anxiety diathesis, suggesting that a history of anxiety disorders in childhood is associated with an anxiety disorder diagnosis, mainly social anxiety disorder, in adulthood.

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