Is avoidant disorder part of the social phobia spectrum in a referred sample of Brazilian children and adolescents?




The diagnosis of avoidant disorder was deleted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders - fourth edition (DSM-IV) based on a ‘committee decision’ suggesting that avoidant disorder is part of the social phobia spectrum. The objective of the present study was to examine the nature of this clinical association in a referred sample of Brazilian children and adolescents. We assessed a referred sample of 375 youths using semi-structured diagnostic interview methodology. Demographic (age at admission to the study and sex) and clinical (level of impairment, age at onset of symptoms and pattern of comorbidity) data were assessed in subsamples of children with avoidant disorder (N = 7), social phobia (N = 26), and comorbidity between both disorders (N = 24). Although a significant difference in the male/female ratio was detected among groups (P = 0.03), none of the other clinical variables differed significantly among subjects that presented each condition separately or in combination. Most of the children with avoidant disorder fulfilled criteria for social phobia. Thus, our findings support the validity of the conceptualization of avoidant disorder as part of the social phobia spectrum in a clinical sample.


transtornos fóbicos anxiety disorders avoidant disorder transtornos da personalidade social phobia mental disorder diagnosis

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