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Worry in children : interpretations of hypothetical scenarios and the relationship to parent factors


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Mason, Bronte 2004 , 'Worry in children : interpretations of hypothetical scenarios and the relationship to parent factors', Unspecified thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Worry is a commonly experienced phenomenon that serves the important
cognitive function of preparing the individual to anticipate future threats. Perceived
benefits of worry include enhancement of motivation and facilitation of preparatory
and analytical thinking, each of which can facilitate problem-solving. At the
pathological extreme, worry is associated with problem exacerbation and increases in
anxiety, and excessive worry is the key diagnostic feature of generalised anxiety
disorder (GAD). Hitherto, relatively little research has investigated worry in child
and adolescent populations. The literature thus far suggests that worry in children is
common, with excessive worry also being documented. Studies suggest that the
content of children's worry is predominantly self-referent, focusing on issues such as
school, personal harm and health (e.g., Silverman, LaGreca, & Wasserstein, 1995).
However, other research suggests a shift for children's worry concerns to focus on
broader societal and environmental issues such as pollution, starvation and nuclear
war (e.g., Gottlieb & Bronstein, 1996). Age differences and sex differences in content
and prevalence of worry have also been noted. The literature suggests that several
cognitive biases are characteristic of highly anxious individuals. These include
sensitivity to threat cues, a tendency to interpret ambiguous cues as threatening and a
tendency to overestimate the likelihood of threat. Several studies have replicated
these findings in high worry populations, but research using child worriers is
particularly limited. The literature has also explored the role of family factors on the
development and maintenance of anxiety in children. Parenting styles characterised
by overprotection and lack of warmth have been particularly implicated as
contributing to anxiety in children. Again, further research is required to evaluate the
role of family processes on the development and maintenance of worry in children.

Item Type: Thesis - Unspecified
Authors/Creators:Mason, Bronte
Keywords: Worry in children
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2004 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.Psych.)--University of Tasmania, 2004. Includes bibliographical references

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