The prevalence of anxiety disorders in adolescents range from 6% to 20%, and it is much higher for anxiety symptoms not meeting criteria for a specific anxiety disorder. The prevalence is much higher in females. Athletes participating in sports experience different levels of stress from competitive sports. For most young athletes (generally 13 to 24 years old, i.e., high-school and college age group) sport participation is reported to be no more stressful than many other activities of daily student or work life in general where competition is involved and performance is measured. Some level of sport related performance anxiety is considered to be normal and healthy; however, extreme anxiety in athletes can be detrimental in these performance situations. A number of factors may contribute to the development, severity, and persistence of performance anxiety related to sport participation. This article reviews the definitions, theories, clinical presentation, evaluation, and management principles of performance anxiety symptoms in young athletes.
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