Background: Anxiety disorders are prevalent among adolescents; however, without objective behavioral markers, anxiety disorders in adolescent populations may often go undiagnosed. Response inhibition is considered as a possible behavioral marker, based on the results with two-gate design, which can aid in early detection of anxiety disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between response inhibition and anxiety using a large-scale population-based adolescent sample with single-gate design. Methods: We used data from the Tokyo Teen Cohort study which was a population-based survey in adolescence. Anxiety was assessed by the Child Behavior Checklist answered by primary caregivers. Response inhibition was measured using the Go/No-Go task. We estimated Pearson's correlation coefficient to test the relationship between response inhibition and anxiety. Results: A total of 2,434 adolescents aged 11–13 years were included in our analyses. We found a significant but weak correlation between response inhibition and adolescent anxiety (r = 0.07, confidence interval 0.03–0.11, p < 0.001). Similar results were shown in most of subgroups according to gender, age, and intelligence. Limitations: The primary outcome was assessed only via parent-reported questionnaire, leading to potential informant bias. Conclusions: Response inhibition may not be considered as a suitable behavioral marker of adolescent anxiety.
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