Question: If my child is shy, is he/she more likely to develop an anxiety disorder later in life?
Answer: Kids who are shy or have anxiety or have an anxiety disorder while they are children are at more risk of having anxiety disorders when they're adults. In fact, a majority of adult anxiety disorders are in people who had anxiety as kids. However, fortunately, the majority of kids who have anxiety, do not develop anxiety disorders as adults.
In fact, about 25 percent of kids who have anxiety disorders as a child, develop anxiety disorders as adults. And it's also important to remember that anxiety is on a continuum, and that it's very normal to feel anxious, and it's also very normal to be shy. So just because a child is anxious or shy does not mean that it's going to develop into a disorder and if they have a disorder, it does not necessarily mean they're going to have a disorder later in adulthood.
And again there are a number of things we can do to help kids learn to manage their anxiety so that it stays at a constant level, or improves rather than gets worse over time.