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Anxiety in middle childhood


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Yau-Evans, Phoebe (Suk Wah) 2001 , 'Anxiety in middle childhood', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The aim of this review is to explore the potential contribution of parents, peers
and friends to children's development and to the mediation of children's anxiety
in Western and Chinese cultures during middle childhood. This review includes
gender differences in anxiety and in the differential impact of these relationships.
Firstly, evidence for anxiety that children may experience is covered; followed by
the impact of parent-child attachment, family interaction, peer relationships and
friendships on anxiety. Gender and cultural differences are integrated into each
section. In addition, directions for future research are discussed. Childhood
anxiety is common and it may develop into a chronic problem if intervention is
not available. The sources and severity of anxiety vary between Western and non-Western
children and between the sexes. Due to some cultural factors such as
academic achievement and parenting style, Chinese children suffer more anxiety
than their Western counterparts. Research has found that girls are more likely' to
report anxiety than are boys. Indeed, the difference between boys' and girls'
perspectives on admitting anxiety plays a role in this phenomenon. The quality of
parental and social support networks appear to be a robust factor influencing
children's development, psychological well being and adjustment. With close and
supportive relationship with parents, particularly mother-child relationships,
children may obtain the psychological strength to cope with many adverse
situations and maladjustment. Parent-child relationships have been implicated in
the establishment of certain forms of childhood maladjustment such as anxious behaviours, depression and social withdrawal. However, the quality of father-child
and mother-child relationships influences boys and girls differently.
Besides, Chinese children may rely on their parents' emotional supports less to
alleviate their anxiety owing to the cultural factors such as the expectation of
social maturity and common usage of authoritarian parenting. Similar to
parenting, positive family processes may prevent children from developing
maladaptive symptoms in adverse situations whereas negative family processes
may increase children's avoidance responses. In Chinese societies, both economic
hardship and parenting style based on traditional values reinforces negative social
interactions between parents and with their children. As well as parent-child
relationships also important for both Western and Chinese children are peer
relationships and friendships. Middle childhood is a critical period when children
develop these social relationships. Positive peer relationships and /or friendships contribute to children's development and also buffer children from the negative
impacts of unfavorable conditions. Being rejected by peers or without friends
cause problems and maladaptive behaviours. Based on Western research, the
importance of friendship has been shown, however, it seems research on the
quality and the impact of friendship among Chinese children is limited. Boys and
girls may regard these social relationships differently. Boys may rely more on
peer groups while girls may rely more on mutual friendships to provide emotional
support. Children usually form their first relationship with their parents or
significant others within the family. However, with age, the closeness and
function of children's relationships change. Developing relationships with others outside the family is an essential process in child development. A considerable
amount of research has been devoted to the impact of children's relationships with
parents, peers and friends on their development. As children grow, they may
place more reliance on other sources than parents to provide particular kinds of

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Yau-Evans, Phoebe (Suk Wah)
Keywords: Families, Attachment behavior in children, Parent and child, Anxiety in children
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2001 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, 2001. Includes bibliographical references

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