External validation of comorbid patterns of anxiety disorders in youth

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Wendy K. Silverman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

William Kurtines

Third Advisor's Name

Jonathan Tubman

Date of Defense



This study examined the external validity of comorbidity among anxiety disorders in youth to determine whether specific comorbid conditions (e.g., anxiety disorder externalizing disorders) convey unique information when compared to "pure" anxiety disorder. The sample consisted of 329 youth and their parents who presented to the Child Anxiety and Phobia Program housed within the Child and Family Psychosocial Research Center at Florida International University.

Youth were diagnosed using the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for DSMIV: Child and Parent versions (ADIS for DSM-IV: C/P). In addition, questionnaire batteries were administered to assess external validation criteria. Statistically significant differences were found across all measures when comparing a pure anxiety disorder with all the different conditions.

The findings suggest that there may be differential meaningfulness in having a single diagnosis of anxiety disorders versus different comorbid patterns. The findings are discussed with respect to theoretical and clinical implications of the current nosological system.



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