Janet Woodruff-Borden, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Director of Clinical Training at the University of Louisville. Her primary research focus is on the developmental psychopathology of anxiety in typically developing children and children with Williams syndrome.
Longitudinal course of anxiety in children and adolescents with Williams syndrome†
Article first published online: 22 APR 2010
Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C: Seminars in Medical Genetics
Special Issue: Williams Syndrome
Volume 154C, Issue 2, pages 277–290, 15 May 2010
How to Cite
Woodruff-Borden, J., Kistler, D. J., Henderson, D. R., Crawford, N. A. and Mervis, C. B. (2010), Longitudinal course of anxiety in children and adolescents with Williams syndrome. Am. J. Med. Genet., 154C: 277–290. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.c.30259
How to cite this article: Woodruff-Borden J, Kistler DJ, Henderson DR, Crawford NA, Mervis CB. 2010. Longitudinal course of anxiety in children and adolescents with Williams syndrome. Am J Med Genet Part C Semin Med Genet 154C:277–290.
- Issue published online: 22 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 22 APR 2010
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Grant Number: R01 NS35201
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Disorders. Grant Number: R37 HD29957
- Williams syndrome;
- intellectual disability;
- developmental trajectory;
- executive function
The longitudinal course of anxiety disorders in 45 children and adolescents with Williams syndrome (WS) was examined. Children were ages 4–13 years at the initial assessment. To assess their child's DSM-IV diagnoses, parents completed a structured diagnostic interview 3–9 times at intervals of at least 1 year. At the first assessment, 60% of the sample presented with at least one anxiety diagnosis; 82.2% received an anxiety diagnosis at some time during the study. Chronic, persistent anxiety within the period 5 years after their initial diagnosis was shown by 62.2% of those with an anxiety diagnosis (51.1% of the entire sample). The most common diagnoses were specific phobias and generalized anxiety disorder. Multilevel logistic regression models were estimated for the presence of any anxiety disorder, specific phobia, and specific phobia of loud noises. Developmental trajectories, expressed as the probability of a positive diagnosis, suggested that the odds of a positive diagnosis did not change with age. IQ was not significantly related to the presence of an anxiety disorder. However, there was a significant relation between executive functioning and anxiety such that the presence of an anxiety diagnosis was associated with increased scores on behavioral regulation, indicative of increased difficulty with inhibitory control of affect and behavior. These findings are discussed in terms of persistence of anxiety over time and the need to develop and test interventions to address the high levels of anxiety experienced by children and adolescents with WS. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.