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Spider Panic, the ASWB Exam, and You

spiderAiming to pass the ASWB exam? Here's a free practice question to help get you ready:

A  mother tells a social worker that her six-year-old daughter panics--hyperventilating and breaking into a sweat-- whenever she sees a spider. The child insists her parents check her room for spiders before she goes to sleep at night, and is refusing to go camping with her family because she doesn't want to sleep in a tent where there might be spiders. What is the MOST likely diagnosis for this child?

A. Specific phobia.   

B. Unspecified anxiety disorder.   

C. Panic disorder.   

D. Adjustment disorder with anxiety.

What do you think?

Let's take the answers one at a time.

Adjustment disorder is diagnosed when a client is having difficulty adjusting to change. There's no mention of change here. Just a profound dislike of spiders.

Panic disorder requires panic that comes out of the blue. This child's panic has a trigger (spiders).

Unspecified anxiety disorder would be a good fit if the client didn't meet criteria for any of the other offered answers, but…

Specific phobia is a very good fit. The child's panic is directly related to a fear of spiders, and is interfering with her daily activities. The proper diagnosis (not just the best of the offered answers) is specific phobia.

If you knew the criteria for specific phobia, this one was probably easy. The presence of panic in the stem may have drawn some to a panic disorder diagnosis. Now, if a choice like this appears on the licensing exam, you'll be ready.

Get ready for lots of different types of questions (not just DSM ones) by taking SWTP's full-length practice tests. Sign up to get started.

Happy studying and good luck on the exam!


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