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Social Anxiety Disorder: Etiology and Early Clinical Presentation

Deborah C. Beidel, Ph.D.

Published: May 21, 1998


Behavioral and biological theories addressing the etiology of social anxiety disorder are discussed. Although not often diagnosed until adolescence or adulthood, social anxiety disorder can have its onset during childhood. Early recognition and treatment of this condition may prevent both immediate and long-term detrimental outcomes and, possibly, the onset of comorbid conditions. However, special considerations are required for the diagnosis and treatment of childhood social anxiety disorder. Therapists face special challenges when treating youth with social anxiety disorder, including patient and parent considerations. Although not documented specifically for children with social anxiety disorders, data from families with anxious children suggest that familial factors may play a role in treatment outcome.
(J Clin Psychiatry 1998;59[suppl 17]:27–31)

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Volume: 59

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