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J Affect Disord. 2014 Jul;163:125-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2013.12.033. Epub 2014 Jan 2.

Anxiety disorders in adolescents and psychosocial outcomes at age 30.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Roehampton, Whitelands College, Holybourne Avenue, London SW15 4JD, UK. Electronic address: C.Essau@roehampton.ac.uk.
2
Oregon Research Institute, 1715 Franklin Boulevard, Eugene, OR 97403-1983, USA.
3
CIBER en Salud Mental (CIBERSAM), Spain; Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Spain.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Anxiety disorders are associated with adverse psychosocial functioning, and are predictive of a wide range of psychiatric disorders in adulthood.

OBJECTIVE:

The present study examined the associations between anxiety disorders during childhood and adolescence and psychosocial outcomes at age 30, and sought to address the extent to which psychopathology after age 19 mediated these relations.

METHOD:

Eight hundred and sixteen participants from a large community sample were interviewed twice during adolescence, at age 24, and at age 30. They completed self-report measures of psychosocial functioning and semi-structured diagnostic interviews during adolescence and young adulthood.

RESULTS:

Adolescent anxiety predicted poor total adjustment, poor adjustment at work, poor family relationships, problems with the family unit, less life satisfaction, poor coping skills, and more chronic stress. Adolescent anxiety predicted, substance (SUD), alcohol abuse/dependence (AUD), and anxiety in adulthood. No adult psychopathology mediated the relationship between childhood anxiety disorders and psychosocial outcomes at age 30. Adult, SUD, AUD and anxiety mediated the association between adolescent anxiety and most domains of psychosocial functioning at age 30.

LIMITATIONS:

The participants are ethically and geographically homogenous, and changes in the diagnostic criteria and the interview schedules across the assessment periods.

CONCLUSION:

Adolescent anxiety, compared to childhood anxiety, is associated with more adverse psychosocial outcomes at age 30. Adolescent anxiety affects negative outcomes at age 30 directly and through adult anxiety, SUD and AUD.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescent anxiety; Anxiety disorders; Course of anxiety disorders; Psychosocial impairment

PMID:
24456837
PMCID:
PMC4028371
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2013.12.033
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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