Prevalence and correlates of childhood-onset anxiety disorders among Latinos and non-Latino whites in the United States
Liza M. Suarez, Antonio J. Polo, Chih-nan Chen, and Margarita Alegria
Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent class of psychiatric disorders (Kessler et al., 2005) and their early onset places individuals at risk for a wide range of subsequent problems (Weissman et al., 1999). Data from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS) and the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication (NCS-R) were used to investigate the prevalence and correlates of childhood-onset anxiety disorders among U.S.-born whites, U.S.-born Latinos, and foreign-born Latinos. Significant differences in rates of childhood-onset anxiety disorders were found, with foreign-born Latinos reporting the lowest rates. Across all three ethnicity/nativity groups, individuals with childhood-onset anxiety disorders had equal or higher levels of past-year impairment, relative to individuals with adult-onset anxiety disorders. The chronic course associated with childhood-onset anxiety disorders was also revealed to be present regardless of ethnicity and nativity, as indicated by the similarities across groups in the mean number of lifetime disorders and comorbidity rates. Treatment and assessment recommendations are discussed with respect to the findings.