Anxiety disorders

Gail A Bernstein, A. R. Perwien

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This article summarized the changes from DSM-III-R to DSM-IV in the classification of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents and the impact of these changes on the interpretation and application of previous research. Research studies that have employed anxiolytic agents in children and adolescents with anxiety disorders are reviewed. The methodological shortcomings of the research studies are noted. The tricyclic antidepressants and the benzodiazepines have been emphasized, because there are more scientific data and clinical experience with these agents. Information on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, buspirone, beta-antagonists, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors is also included. Clinical aspects regarding the use of these medications in children and adolescents are presented. It is expected that with the changes in DSM-IV, with increasing interest in anxiety disorders, and with broader use of medications, more research will focus on the role of antianxiety medications in treatment. New studies will help define mechanisms of action and treatment efficacy for these agents. Medications should be an important consideration in a multimodal treatment plan for anxiety disorders in children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-322
Number of pages18
JournalChild and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


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