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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2008 Mar;17(2):99-107. Epub 2007 Sep 11.

Is social anxiety disorder in childhood associated with developmental deficit/delay?

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  • 1Regional Centre for Child and Adolescent, Mental Health, Eastern and Southern Norway, P.O. Box 4623, Nydalen, Oslo 0405, Norway.


Children with social anxiety disorder (SAD) have been reported to display reduced social skills. Less attention has been paid to whether neurodevelopmental deficits/delays (NDD's) in language and motor function may contribute to their impaired social skills. The present study aimed to assess the extent of language and motor impairment in children with SAD. A population-based screened sample consisting of 150 children (11-12 years) was assessed with a diagnostic interview (Kiddie-SADS), the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) and the Motor Assessment Battery for Children (MABC). Test results were compared across five diagnostic groups: SAD (n=29); ADHD (n=23); SAD and ADHD (n=6); "other disorder" (n=44) and "no disorder" (n=48). Delays in language and motor development as reported by mother were also investigated. Verbal IQ and motor skills were reduced and maternally reported delay was more frequent in the SAD group compared to the "other disorder" and "no disorder" group.

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