Anxious kids are more likely than others to have low self-esteem, poor relationships with peers, and to be victims of bullying. Are there behaviors we can observe in very young children that can help us identify which among them are more likely to grow up into anxious teenagers and adults?
Nathan Fox, Ph.D., looked at outcomes over a 20-year period for children who, as four-month-old infants, were socially withdrawn and fearful of new people and stimuli. His research found that children who continue to exhibit these socially inhibited behavior patterns over time are more likely to have problems with anxiety by adolescence. Recognizing these behaviors at early ages can be a key to reducing chances of psychiatric disorders later in life.
Dr. Fox spoke at the NYU Child Study Center's Grand Rounds on Nov. 18, 2011. His presentation was entitled "Temperamental Antecedents of Anxious Behavior and Pediatric Anxiety Disorders." You can see a video of his full presentation, above.
Dr. Fox is a Distinguished University Professor, Department of Human Development at the University of Maryland.