Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health problems in school aged children and adolescents. Despite this, much more attention is focused on other mental health problems and, as a result, children with anxiety disorders are frequently overlooked. For many children anxiety does not simply remit with the passage of time and has a significant impact on academic, social and family functioning, often predating other mental health problems such as depression and substance abuse. In an analysis of the burden of disease in Australia, anxiety disorders accounted for greater burden than the majority of physical and mental disorders. This means that anxiety disorders provide one of the largest sources of disability affecting Australian society. Given the interference associated with anxiety disorders and the long term health implications for the child, there is a significant need for effective intervention. After providing a brief overview of the nature of anxiety disorders in children, this paper will discuss the need for future research that aims to improve outcomes for anxious children and improve access to evidence-based services.
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|Published - 2007