Generalized anxiety disorder is “A disorder marked by persistent and excessive feelings
of anxiety and worry about numerous events and activities.” (Comer, 2005) There are
various psychological perspectives to be aware of. These perspectives are:

Psychodynamic- A general summary of the psychodynamic perspective basically is
when unresolved anxiety stems from the childhood. There are three different types of
anxiety that children face. These types of anxiety are realistic, neurotic, and moral.
Realistic is basically a genuine fear of something dangerous. Neurotic fear is when
people or situations stand in their way to be able to express themselves. Moral fear is
when they are punished for expressing themselves.(Comer, 2005)

Biological- This perspective suggests that generalized anxiety disorders are inherited.
They track people’s family members to see who has it and who doesn’t. See if there
are any trends.

Cognitive- This perspective suggests that the psychological problems start with a
dysfunctional way of thinking. That this person makes maladaptive and basic irrational
assumptions, that this person experiences misleading beliefs and it makes this person
react in an unsuitable manor. (Comer, 2005)

Humanistic-This perspective is basically how you are in denial and do not see yourself
as you should. A person who ignores their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can be
extremely anxious and cannot function properly. Basically this type of view means that
the person judges themselves so harshly. (Comer, 2005) According to the text this
person did not receive enough positive regard and their conditions of self worth

All perspectives seem to be valid based on how a person can look at the situation. The
least likely to me would be biological. General anxiety disorder seems to be more
thoughts and feelings which I believe each person experiences, and is not inherited. I
agree most with the psychodynamic view because this stems from the childhood when
a person is learning how to think and feel about situations.


Comer, R. J. (2005). Fundamentals of abnormal psychology (4th ed.). New York: Worth.

Jessica Anderson

         Psychodynamic theorists think that all children experience anxiety. It is related to the id
impulses and social interaction with these impulses. A child who is punished or threatened for
their id impulses may experience moral anxiety. This would be the common reaction to such
treatment. We all go through this. Neurotic anxiety develops when the child is prevented from
expressing their id impulses. Realistic anxiety is what the child experiences with real danger. It
is a belief that these id impulses are bad that leads to generalized anxiety disorders (GAD).

       In the humanistic perspective is that GAD develops from denial of true thoughts,
emotions, and behavior (p. 100). A lack of unconditional positive regard develops into anxiety
and through repeated breakthroughs GAD manifests.

       The cognitive model is dysfunction in thinking causes anxiety, and excessive worry
progresses into GAD. I believe this is the simplest perspective on GAD.

        Biological models find the cause of GAD to be from the genes of the subject. Though
there is evidence that this is possible, it is also likely that there are other reasons for the
development of GAD.

        Not addressed in this question was the sociocultural perspective. These theorists think
that GAD is the byproduct of truly dangerous societal conditions. An example of this would be a
fireman. A fireman is put into a dangerous situation on a regular basis as a job performance.
The sociocultural theorist would contend that this repeated exposure to danger would make
the fireman more susceptible to the development of GAD.

         I cannot say that I fully agree with any one perspective. I think that it is a combination of
the environment you are in, the genetic makeup of the person, and how they deal with the
stressors that cause this anxiety. I would have to say the psychodynamic perspective is the one I
agree with least. Punishment and redirection of actions are a part of every culture in this world.
This is how we learn right from wrong. If this action was the cause of GAD then it would be a
greater issue worldwide.

Vernon Kiss

Surveys suggest that up to 4% of the U.S. population suffers from generalized anxiety
disorder. How are anxiety disorders viewed by various psychological perspectives
such as psychodynamic, biological, cognitive, and humanistic? With which
perspective do you most agree? With which do you least agree? Explain your answers

Socio-cultural perspective though not listed above: includes views examining anxiety. Most
would say that generalized anxiety disorder develops from traumatic experiences early in life.

Psychodynamic perspective: suggest all children experience some sort of anxiety, such as
punishment and not being able to express there id impulses which is believed to lead to (GAD).

Humanistic perspective: suggests that GAD develops from suppressing feelings or events and
experiences that were traumatic.

Cognitive: suggests that GAD is caused by dysfunctional thinking.

Biological: though there are other reasons an individual can develop GAD there seems to be
evidence that genes from GAD can be inherited.

I didn't agree with any one perspective completely however, If i had to choose i would choose
the psychodynamic perspective, even though people are not always honest or don't want to
relieve there past by dealing with it they often suppress it some so much that they erase it from
there memory. However they will show signs of trauma .

Catherine Batts


In some cases, anxiety disorder can be viewed as a part of the personality, especially when things
from the past that were unresolved still linger. This can change a person’s personality and
behavior in the psychodynamic approach. The personality of the person, if it is held back at
some point, can be considered like a bomb waiting to explode. When this happens, anxiety can
occur. The biological approach regarding anxiety disorder can be viewed as a part of the genetic
makeup of the person. When you talk about the cognitive approach, many times it is viewed as a
part of the person not to be adaptive or to adapt poorly to how they are. While humanistic
approach is viewed as a human nonrealistic part of their selves.

I have to agree with the psychodynamic approach. When someone goes through many things in
life, this can scar you forever. These feelings continue growing and are not going anywhere. Any
traumatic experience from the past, you can relive it any given moment if something triggers it.
Anxiety disorder can be caused by any past traumatic experience.

 The perspective that I disagree with the most is the biological perspective because I believe that
genes don’t have anything to do with making you do things or act a certain way. They may give
you an inclination to do something, but at some point before the action, comes ideas and at some
point we can achieve to take control of our ideas and impulses. Talking about anxiety disorder,
most of the emotions that make a person get into this stage are not genetic.

Sarita Ramos


Anxiety can be caused form many different things in a person's life. Stress is a
major factor of anxiety, past experiences and medical issues can cause
anxiety as well. Issues with past experiences would be the psychodynamic
approach if these things were unresolved and weighing on a person's heart
and mind.

Biological approaches of anxiety look at family history and genetics. Mental
illness can run in families. Looking at anxiety from this approach usually
requires anti-depressants and anxiety medications to treat the disease.

The cognitive approach is when anxiety is caused by stress and the
environment that they are in. Areas of life that can be changed to prevent

Humanistic is viewed that anxiety results by a person trying to be something
that they are not or to get approval from others.

I agree with the biological approach to causes of anxiety because I have
family members with mental and physical illnesses. I am suffering from
anxiety because of my health conditions ,so I know that these things can
cause anxiety and medication is needed to treat me.

The one I disagree with is the Humanistic view. I think that self esteem and
self image needs to be worked out and once that is worked out the person will
be happy in their own skin, but I don't agree that this type of person can have
true anxiety just because they are wanting approval from someone else, they
need to be taught to love themselves and then others approval will not mean
that much.

Amy Yoder

The psychodynamic perspective suggests that our anxiety comes from our
childhood. The psychodynamic perspective is that our anxiety comes from
inner conflicts and these conflicts affects our development. While we develop
dealing with such conflicts, anxiety disorders begin to develop.
A biological perspective is studying the physical basis of animals and humans.
This suggests that anxiety is genetic which means the child is born with
anxiety disorder.
Cognitive perspective is that certain people have a thinking problem which
may cause bad thoughts and worries that are not so significant. At times they
will even worry about nothing and this may lead to stress and anxiety.
Humanistic perspective is when one is very unsure of themselves
because they ignore their own thoughts and do not see themselves as who
they truly are. This causes a person to have low self-esteem and even
I disagree most with the behavior perspective. I do not believe that a child is
born with this condition. GAD is something that is developed over time due to
one's environment and upbringing. I agree most with the psychodynamic
perspective. I am a firm believer that one's childhood has everything to do with
who they are when they get older.

Derek Der-Grigorian

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