Compr Psychiatry. 2022 Feb 26;115:152302. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2022.152302. Online ahead of print.
AIM: We assessed the heterogeneous development of self-reported social anxiety symptoms across childhood and adolescence (ages 10 to 18; N = 701) and examined whether these groups predicted clinically derived diagnoses of social anxiety disorder (SAD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), depressive episodes, panic disorder (PD), agoraphobia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and substance use in adulthood (ages 19 to 22).
RESULTS: Three distinct social anxiety symptom trajectories were found: a high increasing group (15.5%), a moderate group (37.3%), and a low group (47.2%). The high increasing and moderate trajectory groups were differentiated from the low trajectory group on the adult mental disorders examined: SAD (high OR = 15.74; moderate OR = 11.72), GAD (high OR = 13.08; moderate OR = 8.98), depressive episode (high OR = 19.75), PD (high OR = 8.43; moderate OR = 5.90), agoraphobia (high OR = 16.39; moderate OR = 9.68), and OCD (high OR = 3.49; moderate OR = 2.98). The high and moderate groups were not differentiated on SAD, GAD, PD, or OCD but were differentiated on depressive episodes (OR = 3.24). Relative to the low and moderate trajectory groups, the high increasing social anxiety symptoms trajectory group also predicted cannabis use, but not alcohol use in adulthood. Gender, ethnicity, household income, and parental education were accounted for when predicting adult outcomes.
CONCLUSION: These results highlight the importance of early treatment of symptoms of childhood social anxiety in the prevention of mental health problems in adulthood.
Source: ncbi 2