Self-reported anxiety and regulation strategies in primary school-age children.


We examined the self-reported anxiety in different situations (social anxiety, cognitive fears, fears of injury) and the use of regulation strategies (problem orientation, problem avoidance and seeking social support) in a sample of N = 175 primary school children (mean age 8 years 4 months). At time of recruitment we oversampled for children with internalizing symptoms. In addition, mothers rated the overall anxiety of their children. According to their mothers 14.3 % of the children showed anxiety symptoms in an abnormal range which is comparable to prevalence rates of children from population samples. 19.4 % of the children described themselves as being anxious in an abnormal range. The correlations between different measures of children’s self-reported anxieties were low to moderate. We found no significant correlations between mothers’ and children’s reports. The higher children’s self-reported overall and cognitive anxiety, the more frequently they reported seeking social support in frightening situations. Girls reported more frequently pm cognitive fears than boys. Regarding regulation strategies we found that boys reported more problem orientation than girls whereas girls reported more social support seeking than boys. The results are discussed and practical implications are outlined.