Etiology, course, and treatment of anxiety disorders

Etiology, course, and treatment of anxiety disorders


Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent category of mental health problems in the general population, collectively affecting almost 1 in 5 individuals in a given year and 1 in 4 over a lifetime. These problems typically onset during childhood and are associated with serious impairments in academic, peer, and family functioning. When left untreated, anxiety disorders can persist into adulthood, iStock_000012320519_Mediumduring which time they are associated with the presence of other psychiatric conditions, physical comorbidities, substance use, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and overall reduced health-related quality of life.

The MINT Program is actively engaged in a range of funded research programs working to elucidate the causes, presentations, burdens, and optimal treatment of anxiety disorders across the lifespan. Toward this end our research investigates disordered, high-risk, and community populations, embracing a Childdiversity of inquiry methods, ranging from randomized clinical experiments and quasi-experimental designs to nationally-representative epidemiological surveys, longitudinal designs, meta-analyses, and single-case designs.


Representative anxiety research from the MINT Program (for a full list, click here):

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Comer, J.S., Furr, J.M., Kerns, C.E., Miguel, E., Coxe, S., Elkins, R.M., Carpenter, A.L., Cornacchio, D., Cooper-Vince, C.E., DeSerisy, M., Chou, T., Sanchez, A.L., Khanna, M., Franklin, M.E., Garcia, A.M., & Freeman, J.B. (in press). Internet-delivered, family-based treatment for early-onset OCD: A pilot randomized trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

Cornacchio, D., Crum, K.I., Coxe, S., Pincus, D.B., & Comer, J.S. (2016). Irritability and severity of anxious symptomatology among youth with anxiety disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 55, 54-61.

Sanchez, A.L., Kendall, P.C., & Comer, J.S. (2016). Evaluating the intergenerational link between maternal and child intolerance of uncertainty: A preliminary cross-sectional examination. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 40, 532-539.

Cooper-Vince, C., Chou, T., Furr, J.M., Puliafico, A.C., & Comer, J.S. (2016). Videoteleconferencing early child anxiety treatment: A case study of the Internet-delivered CALM (I-CALM) Program. Evidence-Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 1, 24-39.

Peterman, J.S., Carper, M.M., Elkins, R.M., Comer, J.S., Pincus, D.B., & Kendall, P.C. (2016). The effects of cognitive behavioral therapy for youth anxiety on sleep problems. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 37, 78-88.

Cornacchio, D., Chou, T., Sacks, H., Pincus, D.B., & Comer, J.S. (2015). Clinical consequences of the revised DSM-5 definition of agoraphobia in treatment-seeking anxious youth. Depression and Anxiety, 7, 502-508.

Weiner, C.L., Elkins, R.M., Pincus, D.B., & Comer, J.S. (2015). Anxiety sensitivity and sleep-related problems in anxious youth. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 32, 66-72.

Comer, J.S., & Barlow, D.H. (2014). The occasional case against broad dissemination and implementation: Retaining a role for specialty care in the delivery of psychological treatments. American Psychologist, 69, 1-18.

Comer, J.S., Furr, J.M., Cooper-Vince, C., Kerns, C., Chan, P.T., Edson, A.L., Khanna, M., Franklin, M.E., Garcia, A.M., & Freeman, J.B. (2014).  Internet-delivered, family-based treatment for early-onset OCD: A preliminary case series. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 43, 74-87 .

Cooper-Vince, C., Emmert-Aronson, B., Pincus, D.B., Comer, J.S. (2014). The diagnostic utility of separation anxiety disorder symptoms: An item response theory analysis. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 42, 417-428.

Cooper-Vince, C., Pincus, D.B., & Comer, J.S. (2014). Maternal intrusiveness, family financial means, and anxiety across childhood in a large multiphase sample of community youth. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 42, 429-438.

Elkins, R.M., Pincus, D.B., & Comer, J.S. (2014). A psychometric evaluation of the Panic Disorder Severity Scale for Children and Adolescents. Psychological Assessment, 26, 609-618.

Thompson-Hollands, J., Edson, A., Tompson, M.C., & Comer, J.S. (2014). Family involvement in the psychological treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder: A meta-analysis. Journal of Family Psychology, 28, 287-298. 

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Barlow D.H., & Comer, J.S. (2013). What are the optimal treatment courses for geriatric anxiety, and how do we find out? American Journal of Psychiatry, 170, 707-711.

Gallo, K.P., Comer, J.S., & Barlow, D.H. (2013). Direct-to-consumer marketing of psychological treatments for anxiety disorders. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 27, 793-801.

Read, K.L., Comer, J.S., & Kendall, P.C. (2013). The Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale for Children (IUSC): Discriminating principal anxiety diagnoses and severity. Psychological Assessment, 25, 722-729.

Kerns, C.E., Comer, J.S., Pincus, D.B., & Hofmann, S.G. (2013) Evaluation of the proposed social anxiety disorder specifier change for DSM-5 in a treatment-seeking sample of anxious youth. Depression and Anxiety, 30,  709-715.

Comer, J.S., Gallo, K., Korathu-Larson, P.A., Pincus, D., & Brown, T.A. (2012). Specifying child anxiety disorders not otherwise specified in the DSM-IV. Depression and Anxiety, 29, 1004-1013.

Comer, J.S., Pincus, D.P., & Hofmann, S.G. (2012). Generalized anxiety disorder and the proposed associated symptoms criterion change for DSM-5 in a treatment-seeking sample of anxious youth. Depression and Anxiety, 29, 994-1003.

Comer, J.S., Puliafico, A.C., Aschenbrand, S.G, McKnight, K., Robin, J.A., Goldfine, M., & Albano, A.M. (2012). A pilot feasibility evaluation of the CALM Program for anxiety disorders in early childhood. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 26, 40-49.

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Comer, J.S., Mojtabai, R., & Olfson, M. (2011). National trends in the antipsychotic treatment of psychiatric outpatients with anxiety disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry, 168, 1057-1065.

Comer, J.S., Blanco, C., Grant, B., Hasin, D., Liu, S.M., Turner, J.B., & Olfson, M. (2011). Health-related quality of life across the anxiety disorders: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 72, 43-50.

Comer, J.S., Roy, A.K., Furr, J.M., Gotimer, K., Beidas, R.S., Dugas, M.J., & Kendall, P.C. (2009). The Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale for Children: A psychometric evaluation. Psychological Assessment, 21, 402-411.

Kendall, P.C., Comer, J.S., Marker, C.D., Creed, T.A., Puliafico, A.C., Hughes, A.A., Martin, E., Suveg, C., & Hudson, J.L.  (2009). In-session exposure tasks and therapeutic alliance across the treatment of childhood anxiety disorders. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77, 517-525.

Comer, J.S., Furr, J.M., Beidas, R.S., Babyar, H., & Kendall, P.C. (2008). Media use and children’s perceptions of societal threat and personal vulnerability. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 37, 622-630.

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Hudson, J., Comer, J.S., & Kendall, P.C. (2008). Parental responses to positive and negative emotions in anxious and non-anxious children. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 37, 1-11.

Puliafico, A.C., Comer, J.S., & Kendall, P.C. (2007). Social phobia in youth: The diagnostic utility of feared social situations. Psychological Assessment, 19, 152-158.

very high towerComer, J.S., & Kendall, P.C. (2005). High-end specificity of the Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI) in a sample of anxiety-disordered youth. Depression and Anxiety, 22, 11-19.

Comer, J.S., & Kendall, P.C. (2004) A symptom-level examination of parent-child agreement in the diagnosis of anxious youths. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 43, 878-886.

Comer, J.S., Kendall, P.C., Franklin, M.E., Hudson, J.L., & Pimentel, S.S. (2004). Obsessing/worrying about the overlap between obsessive-compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder in youth. Clinical Psychology Review, 24, 663-683.