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Anxiety disorders in adolescents

CPD Hours



All Modules
Community and primary health care
Neonates and paediatrics
Mental health


Adolescence is a formative period of multiple and significant physical, emotional, cognitive, and social changes.

These changes, in combination with individual circumstances and experiences, can make adolescents vulnerable to mental health problems that can have major impacts on their life during this period and beyond to adulthood.

The National Health Survey 2017-2018 estimated that 1 in 5 (20%, or 4.8 million) Australians had experienced a mental or behavioural condition in that year-long survey period.

The Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing 2013-2014 (Young Minds Matter) had previously estimated that almost 14% of all children and adolescents aged 4-17 years, met the diagnostic criteria for having one or more mental disorders in the previous 12 months.

Half of those children and adolescents with a mental disorder (equivalent to 6.9% of all children aged 4-17 years old - 278,000 children) had an anxiety disorder. 7.0% of adolescents aged 12-17 years were estimated to have one or more anxiety disorders.

This module will outline mental health determinants for adolescents, define anxiety and anxiety disorders, and describe pathophysiology.

It will discuss the incidence of adolescent anxiety disorders, define the four most common anxiety disorders in adolescents, and describe their symptoms and diagnosis.

The module will also discuss prevalence factors and impacts (including co-morbidities) and the clinical assessment process, treatments, and services for anxiety disorders in adolescents.

The module is most relevant for nurses, midwives and care workers involved in the care of adolescents in Australia, particularly those adolescents who are experiencing anxiety-related disorders.

Learning Objective

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Outline mental health determinants for adolescents.
  • Define anxiety and anxiety disorders.
  • Describe pathophysiology of anxiety disorders in adolescents.
  • Discuss the incidence of adolescent anxiety disorders.
  • Define the four most common types of anxiety disorders in adolescents and describe their symptoms and diagnosis.
  • Discuss prevalence factors for anxiety disorders in adolescents.
  • Identify the impacts (including co-morbidities) of anxiety disorders.
  • Explain the clinical assessment process of anxiety disorders in adolescents.
  • Describe treatments and services available for anxiety disorders in adolescents.

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