Predictors of persistence of social anxiety disorder: A national study

Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute and College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Journal of Psychiatric Research (Impact Factor: 3.96). 08/2011; 45(12):1557-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2011.08.004
Source: PubMed


Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is highly prevalent and impairing. Little is known about rates and predictors of persistence of SAD in the community. The current study derived data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, Wave 1 (2001-2002, n = 43,093) and Wave 2 (2004-2005, n = 34,653), a large survey of a representative sample of the United States adult population. Individuals with current DSM-IV SAD at Wave 1 were re-interviewed 3 years later at Wave 2 using the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule-DSM IV Version (AUDADIS-IV). We found that in the community, 22.3% of respondents with SAD at the Wave 1 evaluation met DSM-IV criteria for SAD three years later, and endorsement of social interaction fears and a higher number of avoided social situations, treatment-seeking during past year, and comorbidity with mood disorders independently predicted persistence of SAD. These results suggest that persistence of SAD in the community is common and associated with symptom severity and comorbid mood disorders.

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    • "SAD tends to first present and intensify in later adolescence (e.g., Alfano et al. 2006; Kuusikko et al. 2008), which is how the lower age limit of 16 was determined. The upper age limit of 45 was chosen because results from several national surveys suggest that social anxiety symptoms tend to wane when individuals reach their mid-40s (e.g., Blanco et al. 2011; Ruscio et al. 2008). However, it is important to note that these national surveys did not focus on individuals with ASD, and the course of SAD in adults with ASD is currently unknown. "
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