Abnormal Child & Adolescent Psychology

Resources for students and teachers...

11. Anxiety & Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Learning Objectives

Describe key features of the DSM-5 anxiety disorders and explain how children might manifest these disorders

differently across childhood and adolescence.


Identify and give examples of some of the major causes of anxiety disorders in youths.


Describe the key features of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) in children and adolescents, its primary causes,

and related conditions.


Show how behavioral and cognitive interventions are used to treat pediatric anxiety and OCD.

Evaluate the strength and limitations of medication, psychotherapy, and combined treatment for pediatric anxiety

disorders and OCD.

Note: The number before each objective shows its corresponding module in the text.


Ready to Study? Click here to access flashcards for key terms presented in the text. Flashcards are a great way to help you define, explain, and give examples of important terms and ideas. (You may need to create a free Quizlet account to access the flashcards.)

Test Your Critical Thinking

Ready to Review? Click here to review each of the research questions presented in the text. Review questions are a great way to test your application and critical thinking skills.


Selective Mutism

This video, produced by ABC News, shows how the avoidance of social behavior is negatively reinforcing and can maintain selective mutism over time. The video also shows exposure-based treatment.

Evidence-Based Treatment

Dr. Deborah Beidel, director of the UCF Anxiety Disorders Clinic, discusses treatment options for children with anxiety and related disorders. This excellent video was produced by the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.


Sometimes, OCD-like symptoms can be caused by a beta-hemolytic streptococcus infection (e.g., strep throat). This brief video shows a child with PANDAS


Learn More

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) is the leader in education, training, and research for anxiety, depression, and related disorders. This portion of their website provides an introduction to anxiety and mood disorders in children and adolescents. There are also other sections on anxiety in college students and information about each anxiety disorder.

Child Anxiety Network

The Child Anxiety Network is designed to provide thorough, user-friendly information about childhood anxiety problems. While exploring this site, try clicking on the links to news stories and videos of pediatric anxiety disorders from ABC, NBC, and CBS television. Also, be sure to look at the “Related Links” to access the websites for pediatric anxiety treatment centers across the United States.

Obsessive Compulsive Foundation

The Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation (OCF) is an international organization composed of people with OCD, their families, friends, professionals and other concerned individuals. Be sure to follow the link to information about OCD in children, produced by the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago.

Worry Wise Kids

The Children's and Adult Center for OCD and anxiety offers an excellent site called “Worry Wise Kids.” The site features information about pediatric anxiety disorders and OCD, differences between adaptive and maladaptive childhood anxiety, and how to manage anxiety at school.