Anxiety disorders are common in patients with depressive disorders. This preliminary study investigated some clinical correlates of comorbidity between dysthymic disorder (DD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in a clinically referred sample of children and adolescents. After psychiatric evaluation, including a diagnostic clinical interview (DICA-R), 51 patients (25 males and 26 females, mean age 13.1 years) with an index diagnosis of DD associated with GAD were compared with 22 patients (13 males and 9 females, mean age 12.9 years) diagnosed as having pure DD. The comparison between subjects (DD with or without GAD) regarding the number of depressive symptoms did not show a significant main effect of group. Suicidal ideation was significantly more frequent in the group with comorbid GAD. Internalizing disorders were more frequent in the group of DD with GAD, while externalizing disorders were more frequent in the group without GAD. Functional impairment, assessed with the Children’s Global Assessment Scale, did not show significant differences between the two groups. Data are discussed in the light of conceptualizations about the relationship between chronic anxiety and depressive disorders.

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