Article

Frequency and clinical correlates of adult separation anxiety in a sample of 508 outpatients with mood and anxiety disorders

Department of Psychiatry, University of Pisa, Italy. <>
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica (Impact Factor: 5.55). 10/2009; 122(1):40-6. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2009.01480.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To evaluate the frequency and clinical correlates of adult separation anxiety disorder in a large cohort of patients with mood and anxiety disorders.
Overall, 508 outpatients with anxiety and mood disorders were assessed by the structured clinical interview for diagnostic and statistical manual (IV edition) axis I disorders for principal diagnosis and comorbidity and by other appropriate instruments for separation anxiety into adulthood or childhood.
Overall, 105 subjects (20.7%) were assessed as having adult separation anxiety disorder without a history of childhood separation anxiety and 110 (21.7%) had adult separation anxiety disorder with a history of childhood separation anxiety. Adult separation anxiety was associated with severe role impairment in work and social relationships after controlling for potential confounding effect of anxiety comorbidity.
Adult separation anxiety disorder is likely to be much more common in adults than previously recognized. Research is needed to better understand the relationships of this condition with other co-occurring affective disorders.

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    • "One exception is separation anxiety disorder which includes a criterion that the onset age is before 18 years (APA, 2000). However, separation anxiety is also commonly found in adults (Pini et al., 2010) and in the DSM-5 the age criterion is dropped allowing for a diagnosis of separation anxiety disorder in adulthood (APA, 2013). Because of the lack of distinction between child anxiety disorders and anxiety disorders in adulthood in the DSM-IV-TR (and DSM-5), it is very likely that the items of the SCARED-71 measuring symptoms of anxiety disorders in children will be transferable to adults. "
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    ABSTRACT: Many questionnaires exist for measuring anxiety; however, most are developed for children or adults only, or do not capture symptoms of all anxiety disorders. The Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED) is a well-validated questionnaire for children, measuring symptoms of most anxiety disorders, but has not been validated for adults. The aim of the current study was to investigate the applicability of the SCARED for adults (SCARED-A). Participants were 175 females and 152 males, who were all included in a study examining the relation between parental rearing and anxiety in children and parents. All participants filled in the SCARED-A and the STAI (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory), and the ADIS-IV-L (Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSM-IV Lifetime version) was administered. The internal consistency of the SCARED-A total scale was excellent, and acceptable-to-good internal consistencies were found for almost all subscales. The SCARED-A significantly correlated with the STAI and ADIS-VI-L, providing support for convergent validity. The SCARED-A was able to differentiate between participants with and without an anxiety disorder, and cut-offs for the total score were established. The SCARED-A may be a valuable instrument for future research to investigate intergenerational anxiety, and the course of anxiety development from childhood to adulthood. However, research is needed to replicate the findings in a more representative sample, to examine the test-retest reliability, and to establish cut-offs for the different subscales.
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    • "In the vast majority of cases, adult SAD co-occurs with various other anxiety and mood disorders (Pini et al., 2010; Shear et al., 2006), but its diagnostic primacy would be justified only if its symptoms were more disabling or if they were the main reason for seeking professional help. In diagnostically ambiguous situations, why would clinicians diagnose adult SAD in addition to another disorder, also given the lack of well-established treatments for adult SAD? Would it make any difference to the outcome or prognosis, for example, in terms of suggesting a poorer response to treatment? "
    Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 02/2013; 47(2):188-9. DOI:10.1177/0004867412466704 · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    • "This anxiety in adulthood has been associated with severe role impairment at work and in social relationships after controlling for potential confounding effect of anxiety comorbidity. In Pini et al. study (2010), some subjects have exhibited adult separation anxiety disorder without a history of childhood separation anxiety and some have had adult separation anxiety disorder with a history of childhood separation anxiety (Pini et al., 2010). Manicavasagar et al. (1998) indicated that adults might experience wide-ranging separation anxiety symptoms, such as extreme anxiety and fear, when separated from major attachment figures; avoidance of being alone; and fears that harm will befall those close to them. "
    Different Views of Anxiety Disorders, 09/2011; , ISBN: 978-953-307-560-0
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