History of childhood abuse in panic disorder, social phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2002 Jul;190(7):453-6. doi: 10.1097/00005053-200207000-00005.


The authors examined the prevalence of self-reported childhood physical or sexual abuse in a sample of adult patients presenting for treatment of panic disorder, social phobia, or generalized anxiety disorder. Regardless of the presence of comorbid anxiety disorders or comorbid depression, patients with panic disorder had significantly higher rates of past childhood physical or sexual abuse than patients with social phobia. Patients with generalized anxiety disorder had intermediate rates of past physical or sexual abuse that were not significantly different from the other two diagnostic groups. Anxiety disorder patients with a history of childhood abuse were also more likely to have comorbid major depression than those without. These findings are discussed in terms of biological and behavioral factors that may influence the development of anxiety disorders after the experience of a traumatic event.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / diagnosis*
  • Child Abuse / psychology
  • Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / diagnosis*
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / psychology
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / statistics & numerical data
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Panic Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Panic Disorder / epidemiology
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Phobic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data