ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 1, Issue 1, 6-33, 2010
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Pathological Worry in Children: What is Currently Known?

Charlotte Wilson
School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Volume 1, Issue 1, 2010, Pages 6-33

This review focuses on pathological worry in children. Research suggests that pathological worry in children may best be distinguished by its intensity and uncontrollability, but not by its frequency. Furthermore there is evidence that worry functions as a problem solving strategy in children and adolescents and in older children it may aid avoidance of thinking about more significant worries. These functions can go wrong however, with high levels of worry being associated with positive beliefs about worry, poor problem solving confidence, attentional and interpretation biases and cognitive avoidance strategies. Models and theories of GAD in adults also appear to be applicable to children and adolescents with these younger populations showing associations between worry, and intolerance of uncertainty and negative beliefs about worry. Behavioural inhibition, parenting, genetics and life events are discussed as potential origins of pathological worry in children and the review finally calls for more research into specific causal mechanisms that promote pathological worry in children.

Table of Contents
1. What is Pathological Worry in Children?
2. What is the Function of (Pathological) Worry in Children?
   Positive Beliefs about Worry
   Problem Solving and Worry
   Affective Avoidance and Worry
3. Why does Worry Become Pathological?
   Positive Beliefs about Worry
   Problem Solving
   Affective Avoidance
   Additional Aspects of Pathological Worry
4. Origins of Pathological Worry in Children
   Life Events
Conclusions and Future Directions

Correspondence to
Charlotte Wilson, School of Psychology, Aras an Phairsaigh, University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland.

worry, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, children, adolescents, metacognition, intolerance of uncertainty, cognitive avoidance, problem solving

Received 6 May 2010; Revised 22 Sep 2010; Accepted 22 Sep 2010; In Press 31 Oct 2010

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