Panic disorder, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder.

Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.
Annual Review of Clinical Psychology (Impact Factor: 12.92). 02/2005; 1:197-225. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.1.102803.143857
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This chapter provides a review of recent empirical developments, current controversies, and areas in need of further research in relation to factors that are common as well as specific to the etiology and maintenance of panic disorder, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder. The relative contribution of broad risk factors to these disorders is discussed, including temperament, genetics, biological influences, cognition, and familial variables. In addition, the role that specific learning experiences play in relation to each disorder is reviewed. In an overarching hierarchical model, it is proposed that generalized anxiety disorder, and to some extent panic disorder, loads most heavily on broad underlying factors, whereas specific life history contributes most strongly to circumscribed phobias.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The literature suggests that dysfunctional parenting and insecure attachment may increase risk of anxiety-related psychopathology. This study aimed at testing the association between anxiety disorders, attachment insecurity and dysfunctional parenting while controlling for factors usually not controlled for in previous studies, such as gender, age, and being ill. A sample of 32 non-psychotic inpatients with SCID-I diagnosis of an anxiety disorder, either alone or in comorbidity, was compared with two age- and sex-matched control groups consisting of 32 non-clinical participants and 32 in-patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. Study measures included the Experience in Close Relationships questionnaire (ECR) and the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI). The patients with anxiety disorders scored significantly higher on attachment-related anxiety and avoidance than patients with drug-resistant epilepsy and non-clinical participants. These findings were independent of comorbidity for mood disorders. ECR scores did not differ among diagnostic subgroups (generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, other anxiety disorders). Patients with anxiety disorders scored significantly lower on PBI mother's care and borderline significantly lower on PBI father's care than patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. Although limitations such as the relatively small sample size and the cross-sectional nature suggest caution in interpreting these findings, they are consistent with the few previous adult studies performed on this topic and corroborate Bowlby's seminal hypothesis of a link between negative attachment-related experiences, attachment insecurity, and clinical anxiety. Attachment theory provides a useful theoretical framework for integrating research findings from several fields concerning the development of anxiety disorders and for planning therapeutic interventions.
    Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health 01/2013; 9:157-63.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Anxiety and depression are prevalent, impairing disorders. High comorbidity has raised questions about how to define and classify them. Structural models emphasise distinctions between “fear” and “distress” disorders while other initiatives propose they be defined by neurobiological indicators that cut across disorders. This study examined startle reflex (SR) modulation in adolescents with principal fear disorders (specific phobia; social phobia) (n=20), distress disorders (unipolar depressive disorders, dysthymia, generalized anxiety disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder) (n=9), and controls (n=29) during (a) baseline conditions, (b) threat context conditions (presence of contraction pads over the biceps muscle), and (c) an explicit threat cue paradigm involving phases that signalled safety from aversive stimuli (early and late stages of safe phases; early stages of danger phases) and phases that signalled immediate danger of an aversive stimulus (late stages of danger phases). Adolescents with principal fear disorders showed larger SRs than other groups throughout safe phases and early stages of danger phases. SRs did not differ between groups during late danger phases. Adolescents with principal distress disorders showed attenuated SRs during baseline and context conditions compared to other groups. Preliminary findings support initiatives to redefine emotional disorders based on neurobiological functioning.
    Psychiatry Research. 06/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Maternal anxiety and depression are significant risk factors for the development of these disorders in offspring. The pathways through which risk is conferred remain unclear. This study examined fear acquisition and extinction in 26 children at high risk for emotional disorders by virtue of maternal psychopathology (n=14 with a mother with a principal anxiety disorder and n=12 with a mother with a principal unipolar depressive disorder) and 31 low risk controls using a discriminative Pavlovian conditioning procedure. Participants, aged between 7 and 14 years, completed 16 trials of discriminative conditioning of two geometric figures, with (CS+) and without (CS-) an aversive tone (US), followed by 8 extinction trials (4×CS+, 4×CS-). In the context of comparable discriminative conditioning, children of anxious mothers showed larger skin conductance responses during extinction to the CS+ compared to the CS-, and to both CSs from the first to the second block of extinction trials, in comparison with low risk controls. Compared to low risk controls, children of depressed mothers showed smaller skin conductance responses to the CS+ than the CS- during acquisition. These findings suggest distinct psychophysiological premorbid risk markers in offspring of anxious and depressed mothers.
    Developmental cognitive neuroscience. 11/2013; 7C:30-42.


Available from