Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 433–443 | Cite as

Overanxious disorder: An examination of developmental differences

  • Cyd C. Strauss
  • Cynthia A. Lease
  • Cynthia G. Last
  • Greta Francis


Differences between a clinical sample of younger (ages 5 to 11) and older (ages 12 to 19) children meeting DSM-III criteria for overanxious disorder (OAD) were examined. Younger and older children were compared in terms of (1) the rates of OAD diagnoses occurring in the two age groups, (2) sociodemographic characteristics, (3) symptom expression, (4) association with other forms of maladjustment, and (5) self-reported anxiety and depression. The prevalence of OAD diagnoses and sociodemographic characteristics did not differ. Although younger and older OAD children showed similar rates of most specific DSM-III OAD symptoms, older children presented with a higher total number of overanxious symptoms than younger children. Older children more frequently exhibited a concurrent major depression or simple phobia, whereas younger OAD children more commonly had coexisting separation anxiety or attention deficit disorders. Older OAD children reported significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression on self-report measures. Findings indicated that the expression of OAD varies by developmental level.


Young Child Major Depression Clinical Sample Similar Rate Attention Deficit 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cyd C. Strauss
    • 1
  • Cynthia A. Lease
    • 1
  • Cynthia G. Last
    • 1
  • Greta Francis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of PittsburghPittsburgh

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