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Study offers new insights into teenagers and anxiety disorders
Date:9/15/2008

re surprised to see that more than 20 percent had a current or past anxiety disorder, and 30 percent had a current or past mood disorder at the start of the study. As a result, we switched from solely evaluating risk factors for the onset of anxiety and mood disorders to include evaluation of risk factors for the persistence of anxiety and depression over time. We want to assess for whom do these disorders become more severe over time and why."

Every 12 months, the researchers conduct a comprehensive evaluation, and every six months, the adolescents complete self-report questionnaires. Craske is the study's principal investigator at UCLA, and UCLA psychology professor Constance Hammen is a co-investigator. The study is also being conducted at Northwestern University, where the principal investigators are psychology professors Richard Zinbarg and Susan Mineka.

Co-authors on the new research include Edward Ornitz, professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, and Bruce Naliboff, also of the Semel Institute and co-director of the UCLAVeterans Affairs Center for Neurobiology of Stress.

The longitudinal study marks the first time physiological, cognitive and personality measures, along with life stressors, have been analyzed together, Craske said.

Participants in the study attended a Los Angeles school and a school in Evanston, Ill.; to preserve confidentiality, the researchers are not identifying the schools. The students are now 20 and reside in various areas throughout the U.S.

The study is federally funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the world's largest scientific organization dedicated to research focused on the understanding, treatment and prevention of mental disorders and the promotion of mental health.

Anxiety disorders, including panic disorder and post-traumatic stress syndrome, are chronic conditi
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Contact: Stuart Wolpert
swolpert@support.ucla.edu
310-206-0511
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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