Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies for Anxiety Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2020:1191:543-559. doi: 10.1007/978-981-32-9705-0_27.


Anxiety is prevalent in childhood and adolescence. Youth with maladaptive responses to common situations and stressors are at risk of having anxiety disorders. Persistent anxiety symptoms and anxiety disorders can be debilitating with long-term adverse outcomes in adulthood. Hence, decreasing the burden of anxiety disorders is an important public health priority. Development of anxiety disorders has a multifactorial etiology. There is a considerable complex interaction of genetics, temperament, parenting behavior, environmental triggers, and physiologic factors. Identification of these risk factors is key to early detection, prevention, and development of applicable management approaches. Despite several evidence-based treatments published, there are limited prevention strategies available. Effective implementation of prevention strategies is essential and can be achieved by either elimination or reduction of the negative risk factors or strengthening the protective factors on anxiety symptoms and anxiety disorders. This chapter reviews the common risk and protective factors and provides current literature on prevention strategies for pediatric and adolescent anxiety disorders.

Keywords: Adolescence; Anxiety; Behavioral; Childhood; Cognitive; Prevention; Risk factors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / genetics
  • Anxiety Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Parenting
  • Prevalence
  • Protective Factors
  • Risk Factors
  • Temperament