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OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between worry and problem-solving skills and beliefs (confidence and perceived control) in primary school children. METHOD: Children (8-11 years) were screened using the Penn State Worry Questionnaire for Children. High (N= 27) and low (N= 30) scorers completed measures of anxiety, problem-solving skills (generating alternative solutions to problems, planfulness, and effectiveness of solutions) and problem-solving beliefs (confidence and perceived control). RESULTS: High and low worry groups differed significantly on measures of anxiety and problem-solving beliefs (confidence and control) but not on problem-solving skills. CONCLUSIONS: Consistent with findings with adults, worry in children was associated with cognitive distortions, not skills deficits. Interventions for worried children may benefit from a focus on increasing positive problem-solving beliefs.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Clin Psychol

Publication Date





106 - 112


Analysis of Variance, Anxiety, Anxiety Disorders, Child, Female, Humans, Internal-External Control, Male, Problem Solving, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Psychology, Child, Self Concept, Surveys and Questionnaires, United Kingdom