Anxiety in Early Adolescence: Heterogeneous Developmental Trajectories, Associations with Risk Factors and Depressive Symptoms

  • Alejandro de la Torre-LuqueEmail author
  • Aina Fiol-Veny
  • Maria Balle
  • Stefanie A. Nelemans
  • Xavier Bornas
Original Article


This study aimed: (1) to identify heterogeneous trajectories of anxiety symptoms in early adolescence; (2) to analyze the relationships between risk factors and identified trajectories; (3) to study the association between anxiety symptom trajectories and depression symptom course. Anxiety and depressive symptoms of 825 participants (44.40% boys; mean initial age = 13.01, SD = 0.56) was assessed every 6 months over an 18-month period. Trajectory identification relied on latent-variable approach. As a result, 2–4 trajectories were identified for social phobia (SP), generalized anxiety (GA) and panic symptoms, revealing at least a low-symptom course and a trajectory of elevated symptoms (at-risk trajectory). Being girl and sibling cohabitation were related to at-risk trajectories, and a course of low effortful control and heightened negative affectivity. Finally, SP and GA symptoms were related to heightened depressive symptom courses. Relevant implications towards tailored prevention and intervention are highlighted to promote a healthy development across adolescence.


Anxiety symptoms Development Temperament Adolescence Growth mixture modeling 



This study was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness Grants Ref. PSI2012-34780 and PSI2016-78403-P.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interests

The authors of this manuscript declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Supplementary material

10578_2019_936_MOESM1_ESM.doc (682 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 682 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, School of MedicineAutonomous University of MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Centre for Biomedical Research in Mental Health, CIBERSAMMadridSpain
  3. 3.Research Institute of Health SciencesUniversity of the Balearic IslandsIlles BalearsSpain
  4. 4.Research Centre Adolescent DevelopmentUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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