Chapter 2 - Anxiety disorders in children and adolescents: evidence-based clinical principles

Handbook of Child and Adolescent Psychology Treatment Modules, Personalized Care in Behavior and Emotion Practical Resources for the Mental Health Professional, 2023, Pages 19-38
Peter Muris

Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent in children and adolescents. Following a brief introduction on the phenomenology and etiology of this type of internalizing psychopathology, the current chapter describes evidence-based methods of how anxiety disorders in children and adolescents can be dealt with in clinical practice. First, a succinct review will be given of reliable and valid assessment instruments that can be used to classify this type of psychopathology and to measure the frequency and severity of associated symptomatology in youths. Second, evidence-based principles will be presented that may inform clinicians on how they can best treat young people with anxiety disorders. The main focus will be on cognitive-behavioral therapy, which currently has the best evidence-base, as well as on pharmacotherapy with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The chapter will close with a discussion of some future directions for further improving the treatment of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents.