Generalized anxiety disorder in a nonclinical sample of children: Symptom presentation and predictors of impairment

Ann E. Layne, Debra H. Bernat, Andrea M. Victor, Gail A Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Presentation of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in a nonclinical sample of children (7-11 years old) and factors that predict overall impairment were examined. Symptom presentation was compared in children with GAD (n = 49) and anxious children without GAD (n = 42). Children with GAD endorsed significantly more worries, greater intensity of worries, and more DSM-IV associated symptoms than anxious children without GAD. Eighty-six percent of children with GAD had a comorbid diagnosis with 4% having a depressive disorder. Number of associated symptoms was most predictive of GAD impairment based on child perspective and intensity of worry was most predictive based on clinician perspective. Overall, findings from the current study are consistent with reports based on clinical samples. The DSM-IV-TR criteria for GAD were supported, with the exception that children with GAD typically present with several associated symptoms, rather than only one.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-289
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funded by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (R21 MH065369), the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center, and the Minnesota Medical Foundation to Dr. Bernstein. The authors express their appreciation to the participating schools and families.


  • Children
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Nonclinical sample


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