Background. The Dutch TRAILS-study focuses on the development of youth from early adolescence into adulthood. An important aspect of this development is the development of anxiety. Little was known about typical development of symptoms of anxiety over adolescence. Aim. To describe normative development of anxiety over adolescence, as well as risk indicators for high levels of anxiety. Methods. Studies were imbedded in TRAILS, a large cohort study following children (10y) into adulthood (25y). Results. Our studies show that on average levels of anxiety decrease in early adolescence and subsequently increase in middle or late adolescence, depending on the subtype of anxiety. We found child, parent and peer factors at age 10-12 that were related with higher anxiety levels. Some, e.g., parenting style, were related with higher anxiety only in early adolescence, whereas others, e.g., victim of bullying by peers were related with higher anxiety levels throughout adolescence regardless of stability of victimization. Conclusion. Our studies contribute to a better understanding of normative development of anxiety over adolescence.
The article is in Dutch; here you find the earlier published article in English
Panic attacks are a source of individual suffering and are an independent risk factor for later psychopathology. However, much less is known about risk factors for the development of panic attacks, particularly during adolescence when the incidence of panic attacks increases dramatically. We examined whether internalizing and externalizing problems in childhood predict the onset of panic attacks in adolescence. There were N=314 (19.8%) cases who experienced at least one DSM-IV defined panic attack during adolescence and N=18 (1.2%) who developed panic disorder during adolescence. In univariate analyses, CBCL Total Problems, Internalizing Problems and three of the eight syndrome scales predicted panic attack onset, while on the YSR all broad-band problem scales and each narrow-band syndrome scale predicted panic attack onset. In multivariate analyses, CBCL Social Problems (HR 1.19, p<.05), and YSR Thought Problems (HR 1.15, p<.05) and Social Problems (HR 1.26, p<.01) predicted panic attack onset. Risk indicators of panic attack include the wide range of internalizing and externalizing problems. Yet, when adjusted for co-occurring problem behaviors, Social Problems were the most consistent risk factor for panic attack onsets in adolescence.