Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Understanding anxiety disorders in adolescence : an examination of clinical characteristics, parental behaviours and interpretation biases
Author: Waite, Polly
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 8098
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Anxiety disorders in children and adolescents are a common psychiatric problem. Although research and treatment has developed greatly, adolescents have been largely overlooked. Studies of normative development suggest that adolescence is a distinct phase of development. These developmental differences may account for the (albeit mixed) evidence that adolescents with anxiety disorders have significantly poorer treatment outcomes, compared to anxious children. The aim of the papers in this thesis was to develop understanding of characteristics of anxious adolescents that could be addressed through psychological treatment, relating to clinical presentation, cognitive biases and parenting behaviours. Adolescents with anxiety disorders, compared to children with anxiety disorders, were found to have more severe anxiety symptoms, more frequent primary diagnoses of social anxiety disorder, diagnoses/symptoms of mood disorders, and irregular school attendance. Parents of adolescents showed significantly lower levels of expressed anxiety, intrusiveness and warmth/engagement than parents of children. Furthermore, offspring age moderated the association between anxiety disorder status and parenting behaviours, in that parents of adolescents with anxiety disorders showed significantly higher intrusiveness and lower warmth/engagement than parents of non-anxious adolescents, but no significant differences were found between anxious and non-anxious children. The findings for adolescents were consistent with the existing literature, although with stronger effects for parental lack of warmth than other, mainly community-based, studies have found. Finally, children and adolescents with anxiety disorders showed significantly higher levels of threat interpretation and avoidant strategies than non-anxious children and adolescents. However, age significantly moderated the effect of anxiety disorder status; adolescents with anxiety disorders showed significantly higher levels of threat interpretation than non-anxious adolescents, but, again, there were no significant differences between anxious and non-anxious children. Taken together, these results underline the importance of taking age into account in order to improve understanding of the critical components of adolescent-specific treatments for anxiety disorders.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available