Thinking about worry: Investigation of the cognitive components of worry in children
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Background Despite being extensively studied in adults, investigation of worry and it's associated cognitive variables remains in its infancy in paediatric samples. Aims This study aimed to investigate 1) whether the child cognitive variables of intolerance of uncertainty (IU), positive beliefs about worry (PBW), negative beliefs about worry (NBW), negative problem orientation (NPO) and cognitive avoidance (CA) were associated with child worry, 2) whether parental worry and cognitive variables were associated with child worry, 3) whether the relationship between child and parent worry was mediated by child cognitive variables and 4) whether the relationships between specific parent cognitive factors and child worry were mediated by specific child cognitive factors. Method Participants were 114 children plus one of their parents. Parents and children completed questionnaires assessing each of the five cognitive variables and worry. Results When examined together, child NBW and CA significantly predicted child worry. Parent worry, IU and CA were significantly and positively related to child worry. The relationship between parent worry and child worry was mediated by child NBW and CA. The relationship between parent IU, NPO and CA and child worry was mediated by child IU, NPO and CA respectively. Conclusions Child NBW and CA may be particularly important to child worry and may represent potential treatment targets. Parental worry and cognitive variables may play a role in the development and / or maintenance of child worry.
Journal of Affective Disorders
Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified