Psychological Assessment in Clinical Practice: A Pragmatic Guide

By Michel Hersen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 11

Anxiety Disorders

Wendy K. Silverman
Barbara Lopez


□ Description of the Disorder

Anxiety disorders are one of the most prevalent disorders of childhood and adolescence with epidemiological studies showing that between 8% to 12% of youths experience anxiety problems severe enough to interfere with their functioning (Costello et al., 1996; Fergusson, Horwood, & Lynskey, 1993). If untreated, areas of interference relating to anxiety disorders include school drop out, arrests, and psychopathology extending into late adolescence and adulthood (e.g., Brown & Harris, 1993; Costello, Angold, & Keeler, 1999). Consistent and strong research evidence has accumulated in the past decade showing that anxiety disorders in youth can be successfully reduced with the use of exposure-based cognitive behavioral treatment procedures (see Silverman & Treffers [2001] for review). Given the cumulative evidence, it would seem incumbent on clinicians to become knowledgeable about and experienced in the use of exposure-based cognitive behavioral treatment procedures so that they might deliver interventions most likely "to work."

Equally important is for clinicians to become knowledgeable about and experienced in the use of psychological assessment strategies for use with childhood anxiety disorders. Knowledge about and experience in using psychological assessment strategies would enable clinicians to accurately ascertain whether a child is experiencing anxiety disorders

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