Behavioral inhibition: A predictor of anxiety
M Svihra | MA Katzman
Anxiety disorders are prevalent and contribute to emotional suffering and significant economic loss. Early identification and treatment are essential, not only to reduce the associated morbidity, disability and mortality of the anxiety disorders themselves, but also to minimize development of frequent comorbidities such as depression and substance abuse. To understand the factors that increase susceptibility to developing anxiety disorders, a temperamental construct called behavioural inhibition, which refers to the consistent tendency of some children to demonstrate fear and withdrawal in novel situations, has been developed. The present article reviews studies investigating this model as a premorbid predictor of those at risk for developing anxiety disorders, including prospective studies of children at risk as well as retrospective and family studies. In summary, these data suggest the usefulness of this model and a need for further research to determine the optimal management of behaviourally inhibited children as a potential way to prevent adult psychopathology.