Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-dknvm Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-03-03T23:59:59.688Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

10 - Family and genetic influences: is anxiety ‘all in the family’?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 March 2010

Wendy K. Silverman
Affiliation:
Florida International University
Philip D. A. Treffers
Affiliation:
Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, The Netherlands
Get access

Summary

Introduction

Anxiety disorders run in families. Children of anxious parents are prone to develop anxiety problems of their own, and parents of anxious children show more anxiety problems than parents of children without anxiety problems. This aggregation of anxiety in families can be due to common experiences as well as to common genes. Over the last two decades researchers have tried to disentangle the contributions of nature and nurture to the transmission of anxiety disorders. This chapter will review their research and their findings, as well as the new questions yielded.

The chapter has two sections. The first section, on the genetic contribution to anxiety in children, starts out with a brief review of the studies that have demonstrated that anxiety disorders aggregate in families. However, the studies show low specificity: children's anxiety disorders often do not coincide with those in the parents, and there appears to be overlap with other disorders, especially depression.

This is followed by a discussion of quantitative genetic studies, which addresses both genetic and environmental contributions to the transmission of anxiety disorders in families, and can shed light on questions of comorbidity. Most of this research has been conducted with adults, but findings from genetic research on anxiety disorders in children and adolescents are now emerging. These findings are both puzzling and intriguing – because different perspectives on the child's anxiety (parental report versus children's report) and different research designs (twin studies versus adoption studies) appear to yield contradictory findings.

Type
Chapter
Information
Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Research, Assessment and Intervention
, pp. 235 - 254
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2000

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×