Symptomatology and comorbidity of generalized anxiety disorder in children and adolescents

Gabriele Masi, Maria Mucci, Letizia Favilla, Roberta Romano, Paola Poli

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This study investigated the symptomatology and comorbidity of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in a clinically referred sample of Italian children and adolescents as a function of age and gender. The sample consisted of 58 subjects (19 children and 39 adolescents), 23 males and 35 females screened from consecutively referred children and adolescents. This sample was divided into two groups of younger children (19 subjects, eight males and 11 females aged 7 to 12 years; mean age, 9.6) and adolescents (39 subjects, 15 males and 24 females aged 12 to 18 years; mean age, 14.9). Feelings of tension, apprehension, the need for reassurance, irritability, negative self-image, and physical complaints were reported in more than 70% of the subjects. Differences in the symptomatic profile between males and females were not significant. Children and adolescents did not show significant differences in the number of symptoms. The need for reassurance was significantly more frequent in children, and brooding was more frequent in adolescents. Other anxiety disorders were commonly comorbid with GAD. More than half of the patients with GAD showed a concurrent depressive disorder; no differences were found for comorbidity between children and adolescents, except for higher rates of separation anxiety disorder in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-215
Number of pages6
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychology(all)

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