Panic disorder in clinically referred children and adolescents

Gabriele Masi, Letizia Favilla, Maria Mucci, Stefania Millepiedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prevalence, phenomenology, comorbidity, functional impairment and familial correlates of juvenile panic disorder (PD) are described in this study. A clinical interview (Diagnostic Interview for Children and Adolescents-Revised) was administered to 220 children and adolescents consecutively referred to a Division of Child Neurology and Psychiatry. 23 subjects (10.4%), aged 7 to 18 years, fulfilled DSM-IV criteria for PD. Reported panic symptoms are described, according to gender and chronological age. High comorbidity with generalized anxiety disorder (74%) and depression (52%) was noted. Agoraphobia (56%) and other phobias (56%) were significantly more frequent than in two control groups of subjects with generalized anxiety disorder and with depression. Antecedent and/or associated separation anxiety disorder was reported in 73% of the patients. Functional impairment, assessed with a specific diagnostic instrument (Children's Global Assessment Scale) was significantly greater in PD patients than in depressed or anxious patients. 90% of patients had at least one parent with an anxiety disorder, 52% had one parent with depressive disorder, 33% had one parent with drug treated PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-151
Number of pages13
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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