Panic-phobic patients and developmental trauma

D. David, A. Giron, T. A. Mellman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Background: Several studies suggest high rates of developmental trauma among adult anxiety disorder patients. We attempted to replicate these findings in patients with panic disorder, agoraphobia, and/or social phobia in comparison with a nonclinical population and to evaluate possible relationships of traumas and phobic subtypes. Method: Fifty-one patients with panic disorder with agoraphobia and/or social phobia were assessed for lifetime diagnoses using interviews and rating scales and for developmental trauma by the Life Experience Questionnaire (LEQ). Fifty-one demographically similar nonclinical subjects completed a questionnaire that included the LEQ and screening questions for lifetime psychopathology. Results: Childhood trauma was reported by 63% (N = 32) of the patients (vs. 35% or 18 of comparison subjects and 24% or 9 of subjects negative for lifetime psychopathology: χ2 = 7.7, df = 1, p < .01). Sexual and/or physical abuse histories (and not separation and/or loss) were significantly increased in the patient group and were most specifically associated with social phobia. Conclusion: We find a similar, increased rate of childhood trauma as has been reported in previous studies of anxiety disorder patients. In our findings, this most specifically represents an association of social phobia and sexual/physical abuse histories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-117
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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