History of childhood abuse in panic disorder, social phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder

Steven A. Safren, Beth S. Gershuny, Patricia Marzol, Michael W. Otto, Mark H. Pollack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


The authors examined the prevalence of self-reported childhood physical or sexual abuse in a sample of adult patients presenting for treatment of panic disorder, social phobia, or generalized anxiety disorder. Regardless of the presence of comorbid anxiety disorders or comorbid depression, patients with panic disorder had significantly higher rates of past childhood physical or sexual abuse than patients with social phobia. Patients with generalized anxiety disorder had intermediate rates of past physical or sexual abuse that were not significantly different from the other two diagnostic groups. Anxiety disorder patients with a history of childhood abuse were also more likely to have comorbid major depression than those without. These findings are discussed in terms of biological and behavioral factors that may influence the development of anxiety disorders after the experience of a traumatic event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-456
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 7 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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