The current study examined the relationship between childhood anxiety and threat perception abnormalities. Children (N = 105) were exposed to stories reflecting three types of anxiety: social anxiety, separation anxiety, and generalized anxiety. From children's reactions to the stories, a number of threat perception indices were derived. Children's level of anxiety was assessed by means of questionnaires and a structured diagnostic interview. Results indicated that high levels of anxiety, as measured by questionnaires and interview, were accompanied by a high frequency of threat perception, high ratings of threat, a high frequency of threatening interpretations, high levels of negative feelings and cognitions, and an early detection of threat. Furthermore, results seemed to suggest that threat perception abnormalities were mediated by children 's general level of anxiety rather than by levels of specific anxiety symptoms.
|Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
|Published - 1 Jan 2000