Mental Health News
A team of researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas explored how early fears are linked to future anxiety in children. The study is published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
Researchers surveyed a group of 165 individuals from when they were 4 months old to the age of 26 years. The study was conducted in the years 1989–93.
The results revealed that anxiety in adolescence and adulthood is linked to early fears in childhood. Inhibited children are at a greater risk for mental health disorders, as they do not respond to rewards and are more vulnerable to developing depression and anxiety later in life.
One of the lead researchers, Dr. Alva Tang, elaborated: “Here, we show strong evidence that both early temperamental risk factors and maladaptive neurocognitive processing of rewards are involved in contributing to the development of depression. This might in turn reduce the likelihood of developing depression that originates from being socially disengaged or missing out on opportunities for positive experiences.”
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Tang, A., Harrewijn, A., Benson, B., Haller, S. P., Guyer, A. E., Perez-Edgar, K. E., Stringaris, A., Ernst, M., Brotman, M. A., Pine, D. S., & Fox, N. A. (2022). Striatal Activity to Reward Anticipation as a Moderator of the Association Between Early Behavioral Inhibition and Changes in Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms From Adolescence to Adulthood. JAMA psychiatry, e223483. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2022.3483