Adult separation anxiety disorder among war-affected Bosnian refugees: Comorbidity with PTSD and associations with dimensions of trauma

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Abstract

Although separation anxiety disorder appears to be common among children exposed to disasters, there are no data focusing on the impact of trauma on adult separation anxiety disorder. The present exploratory study examined the relationship of adult separation anxiety disorder with other psychological reactions (posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], complicated grief, depression) and dimensions of trauma among 126 war-affected Bosnian refugees resettled in Australia. Adult separation anxiety disorder was associated with PTSD, but not with complicated grief or depression. Although adult separation anxiety disorder was weakly linked with traumatic losses, this association was nonspecific. Further research is needed to clarify the pathogenic pathways leading to the comorbid PTSD–adult separation anxiety disorder pattern and its clinical implications.

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