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Anxiety disorders in children- association with neurodevelopmental delay/disorder and temperament/personality. A clinical case-control study

Tildelt: kr 5,4 mill.





2007 - 2010

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Anxiety disorders (AD's) in childhood are common and may cause great suffering.Childhood AD's may persist into adulthood and knowledge of important risk factors for development and maintenance of these disorders is essential.The development of AD's is due to a complex interaction between biological and environmental factors.This study will examine the relationship between AD's and two biological risk factors:1.Neurodevelopmental delays/disorders (NDD`S) in motor and cognitive function and 2.Temperament/pe rsonality.To date a few studies have consistently found that motor impairment is associated with childhood anxiety and predicts persistent anxiety in adolescence.The association between AD's and NDD's in cognitive functions such as language and attention is far less studied. In contrast, there is a huge research literature on temperament as a risk factor for AD's.The temperamental trait "behavioural inhibition" has been shown to be particularly associated with AD's.However, very few studies have examined the interplay between NDD's, temperament and anxiety.The study is a clinical case-control study of children aged 7-12 years with AD's referred to three different out-patient clinics.The participants will be assessed by diagnostic interviews, neuropsycholo gical tests and temperament/personality instruments.Comparison groups are:1.children with ADHD (to compare AD's with another mental disorder related to NDD's) and 2.Non-referred children without a mental disorder. Follow-up at 6 months,1 and 5 years.A pil ot study at two of the three out-patient clinics to be included,showed a sufficient sample size.Anticipated implications of the study include increased knowledge of biological risk factors and comorbidity as well as treatment implications in AD's.Children with NDD's are often met with demands they cannot cope with due to their neurodevelopmental immaturity.To adjust the demands to the child's actual level of functioning is important


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