• By Dana Sparks

When Children Avoid Scary Situations They Are Likelier to Develop Anxiety

March 11, 2013

A Mayo Clinic study has found if children avoid situations they find scary or frightening, they are more likely to end up having anxiety. Little girl scared and looking through her handsThe study is currently published in Behavior Therapy and presents a new method of measuring avoidance behavior in oung children. Researchers studied more than 800 children, and lead author, Stephen Whiteside, Ph.D.,L.P., a pediatric psychologist with the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center, says, "This new approach may enable us to identify kids who are at risk for an anxiety disorder, and because cognitive behavior therapy focuses on decreasing avoidance behaviors, our approach may also provide a means to evaluate whether current treatment strategies work the way we think they do."

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