Childhood and Early-Onset Anxiety: Treatment and Biomarker Studies

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Increasing research attention is being applied to studies of early-onset anxiety, with a focus on its phenomenology, etiology, and strategies for treatment. The impetus for these studies includes well-confirmed findings from epidemiologic surveys clearly demonstrating that, as a group, the anxiety disorders represent the most highly prevalent form of psychopathology in children and adolescents. Overall rates of childhood anxiety disorders are estimated to be from 6% to 10%, depending upon categories included and strategies for ascertainment. New work is currently being conducted in the form of large-scale rigorous treatment studies, and new investigations explore etiopathophysiologic aspects of anxiety in children and adolescents. Significant progress is being made in this important clinical area that should translate to improved outcomes through refined diagnosis and empirically tested treatments.

J Clin Psychiatry 2002;63(suppl 6):8-11