Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 129-143

First online:

The Development of Anxiety Disorders: Considering the Contributions of Attachment and Emotion Regulation

  • B. H. EsbjørnAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Copenhagen Email author 
  • , P. K. BenderAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Copenhagen
  • , M. L. Reinholdt-DunneAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Copenhagen
  • , L. A. MunckAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Copenhagen
  • , T. H. OllendickAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Child Study Center, Virginia Tech

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Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric disorders in childhood. Nonetheless, theoretical knowledge of the development and maintenance of childhood anxiety disorders is still in its infancy. Recently, research has begun to investigate the influence of emotion regulation on anxiety disorders. Although a relation between anxiety disorders and emotion regulation difficulties has been demonstrated, little attention has been given to the question of why anxious individuals have difficulties regulating their emotions. The present review examines the evidence of the link between emotion regulation and anxiety. It also explores the unique contributions of attachment style and dysfunctional emotion regulation to the development of anxiety disorders.


Emotion regulation Attachment Child Anxiety