PARENTAL PREDICTORS OF PEDIATRIC PANIC DISORDER/AGORAPHOBIA: A CONTROLLED STUDY IN HIGH-RISK OFFSPRING


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Abstract

Our objective was to evaluate parental risk factors for pediatric-onset panic disorder/agoraphobia (PD/AG) in offspring at high risk for PD/AG. Comparisons were made between parents with PD who had a child with PD or AG (N=27) and parents with PD without children with PD or AG (N=79). Comparisons were also made between the spouses of these parents with PD. Separation anxiety disorder, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder in the parents with PD and their spouses accounted for the risk for childhood onset PD/AG in the offspring. This risk was particularly high if both parents were affected with social phobia. These findings suggest that psychiatric comorbidity with other anxiety disorders and with bipolar disorder in parents with PD and their spouses confer a particularly high risk in their offspring to develop PD/AG in childhood.

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