Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Memory and anxiety in childhood

Studies have shown a link between memory deficits and a variety of adult anxiety disorders. People with obsessive-compulsive disorder often have visual memory deficits while there is also a link between suffering from visual and verbal memory problems and social phobia, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, there has been little research into the links between memory problems and psychological ones in childhood. A study of 160 children and young people between the ages of 9 and 20 in the U.S. found that those children with social phobia had reduced visual but not verbal memory but that there was no other link between childhood anxiety disorders and poor memory. The researchers thought that the link between poor visual memory and social anxiety could be due either to differences in the part of the brain which governs memory or to the fact that socially-anxious children were so worried about the tests that they were being administered that this had an effect on their performance.

Vasa, Roma A. ...[et al] - Memory deficits in children with and at risk for anxiety disorders Depression and Anxiety 24(2), 2007, 85-94

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