Social anxiety disorder and childhood adversities in Portugal: Findings from the WHO world mental health survey initiative

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Abstract

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is one of the most underrecognized and undertreated common mental disorders. This study aimed to describe its epidemiology and to understand the association between childhood adversities and SAD in the context of Portugal's collectivist culture. Data about SAD, childhood adversities, socio-demographic variables were collected from a nationally representative sample using well-validated scales employed for the World Mental Health Survey. Logistic and linear regression models were carried out to explore the association between childhood adversities and SAD prevalence and age of onset. The estimated lifetime prevalence of SAD was 4.68% and the 12-month prevalence was 3.14%. The mean age of onset was 13.6 ± 8.79. People with a college education had 3.42 higher odds of having SAD compared to people with no education or a primary school education. Most childhood adversities significantly increased the odds of a lifetime prevalence of SAD. Parental Maladjustment increased the odds of SAD when gender, age, and education were adjusted. The study findings show a relatively high prevalence of SAD in Portugal and confirms that females, younger people, students, and single people are more likely to have SAD. The study highlights the need to address experiences of parental maladjustment in interventions for people with SAD in Portugal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114734
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume315
Early online date19 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

Keywords

  • Childhood adversity
  • Mental health
  • Parental maladjustment
  • Portugal
  • Social anxiety disorder

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