Administered in: College of the Liberal Arts
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is among the most common forms of psychopathology in childhood and adolescence. SAD symptoms peak in adolescence making this developmental transition an important period to study. Broad profiles of fearfulness and anxious behavior first emerge in childhood, impacting functioning across a broad spectrum not limited to discrete diagnoses of anxiety. Extreme fearful temperament is the strongest individual differences predictor of anxiety. Considerable heterogeneity in symptomatology, risk factors, and biomarkers exists across anxious adolescents which has implications for (1) understanding the developmental etiology of who is at highest risk, (2) identifying individual patterns of symptom course. The proposed study will address these two gaps in the literature.
This study will follow adolescents (N = 240) annually across the transitions from early to mid- adolescence. We will capture a wide range of anxiety symptom presentation (i.e., low risk, temperamental risk, and clinical anxiety) and implement a rich prospective assessment of symptoms, temperament, attention bias, endocrine (cortisol), physiological (RSA) and neurobiological (ERP markers of attention) processes. In addition, we will examine moderators, including sex differences, which are commonly observed in adolescent anxiety, the social/peer context, parenting, and pubertal development.