Depressive comorbidity in preschool anxiety disorder.
Bottom Line: A population of 1738 preschoolers were screened and oversampled for internalizing symptoms from community sites, yielding a sample of 236 children.Using a multi-informant approach (mother, father, teacher, child), we found evidence that children with anxiety disorders and depressive comorbidity display a greater internalizing symptom-load, more peer problems and live in families with more psychosocial impairment (poor family functioning, family adversity, maternal mental health problems).The pure anxiety group was merely dissociable from controls with regard to internalizing symptoms and family adversity.
Affiliation: Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.Show MeSH
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Mentions: Of all parents invited to a voluntary routine medical check-up with their 3- to 5-year-old child (N = 3690), 1738 (47.1%) returned completed Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQ; Goodman, 1997). Parents of 209 children (12.0%) scored above threshold on emotional symptoms (≥4). Forty-nine of these children (23.4%) were not eligible (e.g. due to missing data). Forty-one parents (19.6%) declined participation or failed to attend scheduled visits. Finally, 119 of 209 positively screened children (56.9%) participated in the study. Systematic attrition from screening to collection of diagnostic interviews and outcome measures resulted in a significantly higher level of education of participating parents relative to those who declined while there were no differences in gender and child age. To recruit matched controls, we selected 117 children scoring below borderline-threshold on all problem scales of the SDQ and matched for gender, age, and maternal education (see Figure1 and Table2); 86.7% of the invited families agreed to participate. The recruited sample of matched controls did not differ from the full cohort of negatively screened children with respect to gender, age, and parents’ education. We invited mothers and children for two visits lasting 2–3 hr. At the first appointment, mothers completed several measures of child symptoms, maternal mental health problems, family situation, and life events while children were interviewed separately. Fathers (n = 207) and preschool teachers (n = 224) also completed SDQs. Diagnostic interviews were conducted by trained research assistants with parents (n = 220 mothers/n = 16 fathers) at the second visit. Participation in the study was voluntary and parents gave informed consent.
Affiliation: Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.