What Do Children Worry About? Worries and Their Relation to Anxiety

Wendy K. Silverman, Annette M. La Greca, Shari Wasserstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

206 Scopus citations


This study examined worry in elementary school aged children and its relation to anxiety. The study also examined whether parameters of excessive or dysfunctional worry could be delineated. Children from second through sixth grades (ages 7-12 years) were interviewed using a structured approach and completed several child anxiety measures. Parameters of worry assessed included: number of worries, areas of worry, intensity of worries, and perceptions of the frequency of worry events. Findings revealed few age-related differences but found that girls reported more worries than boys and that African-Americans reported more worries than white or Hispanic children. The three most common areas of worry involved School, Health, and Personal Harm. Anxiety was significantly associated with worry, providing empirical support for a link between these two constructs. Worry parameters, especially number and intensity of worries, could differentiate high and low anxious children in a normal school sample. Implications of these findings for understanding the role of worry in childhood anxiety are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-686
Number of pages16
JournalChild development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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