Anxiety disorders occur frequently in childhood and adolescence, are associated with substantial impairment and disability and may have a chronic (lasting) course. Children with one type of anxiety disorder can often have other types as well and childhood anxiety can lead to depression and alcohol abuse in later life. However, there have been few long-term studies into anxiety disorders following people from childhood to adolescence and beyond. A study of 906 children in North Carolina, U.S. carried out by German and Australian researchers followed three sets of children aged 9, 11 and 13 through to the age of 19. They found that childhood separation anxiety disorder carried on into adolescence. Childhood over-anxious disorder also carried on into adolescence but also led on to panic attacks, depression and conduct disorder. General anxiety disorder in childhood was related only to conduct disorder in adolescence. Social phobia in childhood led on to adolescent over-anxious disorder, social phobia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Bittner, Antje ... [et al] - What do childhood anxiety disorders predict ? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry December 2007, 48(12), 1174-1183