Evaluation of the proposed social anxiety disorder specifier change for DSM-5 in a treatment-seeking sample of anxious youth

Caroline E. Kerns, Jonathan S. Comer*, Donna B. Pincus, Stefan G. Hofmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background The current proposal for the DSM-5 definition of social anxiety disorder (SAD) is to replace the DSM-IV generalized subtype specifier with one that specifies fears in performance situations only. Relevant evaluations to support this change in youth samples are sparse. Methods The present study examined rates and correlates of the DSM-IV and proposed DSM-5 specifiers in a sample of treatment-seeking children and adolescents with SAD (N = 204). Results When applying DSM-IV subtypes, 64.2% of the sample was classified as having a generalized subtype of SAD, with the remaining 35.2% classifying as having a nongeneralized subtype SAD. Youth with generalized SAD, relative to those with nongeneralized SAD, were older, had more clinically severe SAD, showed greater depressive symptoms, and were more likely to have a comorbid depressive disorder. No children in the current sample endorsed discrete fear in performance situations only in the absence of fear in other social situations. Conclusions The present findings call into question the meaningfulness of the proposed changes in treatment-seeking youth with SAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-715
Number of pages7
JournalDepression and anxiety
Volume30
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

Keywords

  • DSM-5
  • anxiety disorders
  • children
  • classification
  • diagnosis
  • diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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