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Anxiety in childhood

1 Jul 2003
DOI

http://doi.org/10.4225/50/5552E75ABB9B8
Description

Anxiety is an everyday term, but what do we mean by it? Anxiety involves a sense of apprehension, with accompanying physiological reactions, typically associated with worrying about the future.  

How does anxiety present itself in children? There are three main ways:

  • physiological reactions such as increased heart rate, tense muscles, tummy aches and headaches
  • behavioural responses such as clinging to a parent, asking for reassurance and avoiding or escaping from challenging situations
  • cognitive aspects such as worrying, expecting they won’t be able to manage situations, and expecting the worst to happen

Developmental changes occur in anxiety: for example, worries emerge in infants about separation from their parents, and this worry may also become strong in toddlers, but usually reduces as children get older.

Publication Details
Identifiers: 
DOI: 
10.4225/50/5552E75ABB9B8
Published year only: 
2003
7
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