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Social anxiety in middle childhood: link with behavioural inhibition when young

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Dina R Hirshfeld-Becker

Correspondence to: Dina R Hirshfeld-Becker, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital Clinical and Research Program in Pediatric Psychopharmacology, 185 Alewife Brook Parkway, Suite 2000, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA; dhirshfeld@partners.org

QUESTION

Question:

Is behavioural inhibition in early childhood a risk factor for mood, disruptive behaviour or anxiety disorders in middle childhood?

People:

284 children aged 21 months to 6 years, whose parents had been treated for DSM-III-R panic disorder or major depression without panic disorder or agoraphobia, or whose parents did not have major anxiety or mood disorders and had never received psychiatric treatment. Main exclusions: acute psychosis or suicidal behaviour in parents.

Setting:

Parents with panic disorder or major depression were recruited from hospital out-patient and Health Maintenance Organizations settings and the control group was recruited through community and hospital-based advertising; recruitment 1993–8.

Risk factors:

Behavioural inhibition at baseline (assessed through three age-specific, laboratory-based observational protocols).

Outcomes:

Mood, disruptive behaviour or anxiety disorders in middle childhood as assessed by the DSM-III-R or IV-based Kiddie Schedule for Affective …

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