U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: Children as young as 8 should be screened for anxiety

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) suggested in a statement published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that children from 8 to 18 should have anxiety assessments. The USPSTF cited a previous study that concluded around 8 percent of children suffered from an anxiety disorder.

According to the USPSTF anxiety disorders are actually quite common to begin with but certain groups are more likely to be afflicted. This is particularly true of marginalized or at-risk children:

“Risk factors for anxiety disorders include genetic, personality, and environmental factors, such as attachment difficulties, interparental conflict, parental overprotection, early parental separation, and child maltreatment. Demographic factors such as poverty and low socioeconomic status are also associated with higher rates of anxiety disorders. The National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health reported that 72% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth and 77% of transgender and nonbinary youth described GAD symptoms.”

The panel says that students who are at greater risk for developing anxiety should possibly be screened regularly while others should be screened opportunistically.

Read the full article here. (US Preventive Services Task Force)

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