The British Journal of Psychiatry


Duke Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) data were used to examine the relationships between: (a) early childhood maternal death, paternal death, and parental separation/divorce, and (b) six-month DIS/DSM-III diagnoses of agoraphobia with and without panic attacks, simple phobia, social phobia, panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Associations were found between: (a) maternal death and agoraphobia with panic attacks, and (b) parental separation/divorce and agoraphobia with panic attacks and panic disorder. The associations could not be explained by the effects of potentially confounding socio-demographic factors.