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Anxious children in adulthood: a prospective study of adjustment.

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Anxiety Treatment Center, Nova Southwestern University, Coral Springs, FL, USA.



To prospectively examine psychosocial functioning in young adulthood for children and adolescents with anxiety disorders.


This 8-year prospective study compared psychosocial functioning in young adults (mean age 22 years) who had histories of early-onset anxiety disorders, comorbid anxiety and depressive disorders, or no history of psychiatric illness (NPI). Follow-up interviews assessed subjects' residential, educational, occupational, and marital status; utilization of mental health services; and psychological status


Anxious subjects without histories of depression were less likely than NPI controls to be living independently. Anxious-depressed subjects were less likely than controls to be working or in school; more likely than purely anxious subjects to utilize mental health services; and more likely than both anxious and control subjects to report psychological problems, most frequently depression.


Overall, results suggest that children with anxiety disorders are relatively well adjusted in young adulthood. However, a history of comorbid depression is prognostic of a more negative outcome.

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