Clinical Practice Guideline for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents With Anxiety Disorders

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2020 Oct;59(10):1107-1124. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2020.05.005. Epub 2020 May 18.


Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. As reviewed in this guideline, both cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication have considerable empirical support as safe and effective short-term treatments for anxiety in children and adolescents. Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) medication has some empirical support as an additional treatment option. In the context of a protracted severe shortage of child and adolescent-trained behavioral health specialists, research demonstrating convenient, efficient, cost-effective, and user-friendly delivery mechanisms for safe and effective treatments for child and adolescent anxiety disorders is an urgent priority. The comparative effectiveness of anxiety treatments, delineation of mediators and moderators of effective anxiety treatments, long-term effects of SSRI and SNRI use in children and adolescents, and additional evaluation of the degree of suicide risk associated with SSRIs and SNRIs remain other key research needs.

Keywords: anxiety; assessment; child psychiatry; clinical practice guideline; treatment.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / drug therapy
  • Child
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
  • Serotonin
  • Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors*


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors
  • Serotonin