How current and past anxiety disorders affect daily life in adolescents and young adults from the general population—An epidemiological study with ecological momentary assessment

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Background Prior research indicated, based on retrospective assessments of symptomatology, that 25AD) experience a relapse. The present study used ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to examine how ADs affect everyday life among community adolescents and young adults with current or remitted AD compared to healthy controls and to each other. Methods Data come from the baseline assessment of the epidemiological Behavior and Mind Health study, conducted in Dresden (Germany) from 11/2015-12/2016. The sub-sample analyzed (n = 648, age 14-21) consisted of 65 participants with current DSM-5 AD-diagnosis, 52 participants with lifetime AD-diagnosis but not within the last 6 months (remitted), and 531 healthy controls (no psychopathology; healthy controls [HC]). EMA of various constructs took place 8 times a day for 4 days. Results The highest levels of symptoms were reported by those with current AD, followed by remitted AD and HC. Regression analyses revealed significantly worse mood, self-efficacy, quality of life and sleep-quality and more experiential avoidance, stress, negative thoughts and pessimism in remitted and current AD compared to HC. Current AD additional differed significantly from HC in optimism and positive thoughts. Furthermore, individuals with remitted AD without comorbidities differed significantly from HC on five out of 16 constructs. Conclusion Not only current but also remitted AD is associated with diverse negative experiences in everyday life, which cannot merely be explained by comorbidities. As the remaining burden and impairment in individuals with remitted AD might contribute to relapse, interventions might be targeted to improve mental health.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-285
Number of pages14
JournalDepression and anxiety
Issue number3
Early online date6 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

External IDs

Scopus 85099033520
Bibtex seidl_how_2021
ORCID /0000-0002-9687-5527/work/142235221


Sustainable Development Goals


  • 2-year course, adolescence, anxiety disorder, children, comorbidity, depression, ecological momentary assessment, epidemiology, mood, netherlands, prevalence, Psychiatry, Psychology, quality-of-life, reliability, remission, version, young adults

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