In a retrospective recall study, mothers of 102 clinically anxious children (7–16 years) and 76 nonclinical comparison children completed questionnaires describing several aspects of their child's early life. There were no differences between the groups on several aspects of development such as age of walking, talking and toilet training. However, mothers of anxious children reported a significantly greater number of birth complications, difficulties in the first year, early fears, and general settling difficulties. There were few differences found between anxiety disorders except that children with social phobia were more likely to be first born and tended to spend less time in day care, while children with separation anxiety disorder experienced more stressful life events. The results are described as preliminary evidence for the possible role of several factors in the development of anxiety that now require more detailed investigation.
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