We use our own and third party cookies to offer you our services, customize and analyze your browsing and show you advertising related to your preferences. By continuing to browse, we consider that you accept its use. You can change the settings and get more information in the
Risk factors implicated in anxiety disorders are divided into two major groups: predisposing risk factors, which mean that some people are more likely to suffer a disorder than others (that is, they are more vulnerable), and the triggers that make the disorder appear. The sum of these predisposing and triggering risk factors is what make an anxiety disorder more or less likely to appear.
Predisposing risk factors
Family background. There is a family component in the development of some anxiety disorders, which means that if a person has any of these disorders, their family members are also more likely to have them. This does not mean that the children of a person with an anxiety disorder will necessarily develop the disorder.
Toxins during pregnancy. Certain situations or contact with some substances during pregnancy (serious problems with nutrition, consumption of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs, certain prescription drugs, or high levels of cortisol, among many other factors) can cause a person to become vulnerable to developing some type of disorder, including anxiety disorders.
Parenting style. Factors related to parenting style can also generate a predisposition to developing an anxiety disorder. An insecure bond between babies and their caregivers (for example, not meeting the child’s needs when demands attention, applying a contradictory parenting style, or not conveying unconditional security and love), as well as an overly authoritarian or overprotective parenting style, are also related to having an increased vulnerability to suffering these disorders.
Triggering risk factors
Stress. Situations of stress such as those arising from problems at work or in family or social relationships, favor the appearance of symptoms of anxiety.
Personality. Another factor that can sometimes encourage the development of an anxiety disorder is a person’s personality. People who tend to be inhibited and shy may have a greater probability of developing anxiety disorders. However, it must be remembered that no single risk factor alone is decisive in the appearance of these disorders. In addition, when devising an intervention, risk factors are not as important as factors that help maintain the disorder. The latter are the focus of psychological interventions and must be modified to achieve good results, regardless of the causes of the disorder.
Sorry this content wasn't helpful to you. Send us your comment and we will take it into account to continue improving.
Thanks for your help!
An error has occurred and we were unable to send your opinion, please try again later.
Substantiated information by:
Eduard Forcadell LópezClinical psychologistPsychiatry and Psychology Department
Luisa Lázaro GarcíaPsychiatristChild and Youth Psychiatry and Psychology Head of Department
Miquel Àngel Fullana RivasClinical psychologistPsychiatry and Psychology Department
Sara Lera MiguelClinical psychologistPsychiatry and Psychology Department
Published: 29 January 2019
Updated: 29 January 2019
The donations that can be done through this webpage are exclusively for the benefit of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona through Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica and not for BBVA Foundation, entity that collaborates with the project of PortalClínic.
Receive the latest updates related to this content.
Thank you for subscribing!
If this is the first time you subscribe you will receive a confirmation email, check your inbox
An error occurred and we were unable to send your data, please try again later.
Subscribe to the Newsletter of Clínic
Receive the latest news from our institution directly to your email.
Thanks for your subscription!
We have received your information. Check your inbox, in a few moments you will receive a confirmation email.
An error has occurred and we have not been able to send your data, please try again later.
More about assistance and health
Join our job pool
Hospital Clínic de Barcelona looks for talented professionals to cover job openings on a regular basis.