Browsing by Author "Wege, Andrea"
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- ItemThe relationship between anxiety symptoms and behavioural inhibition in young South African children(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2014-04) Wege, Andrea; Loxton, H. S.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Psychology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Childhood fears and anxiety are considered to be common and part of typical child development. In some cases, however, these fears can be regarded as a serious psychiatric problem which may have a major influence on children‘s functioning. Anxiety disorders are classified as the most common psychiatric disorders among adults and children in the international as well as the South African context. Although research on anxiety in adults and older children has received much attention, research regarding anxiety among young children has been neglected. Anxiety symptoms in young children often go unnoticed and therefore these children are not referred for treatment in time, causing the anxiety to have a major impact on their lives. In order to reduce the possible effect of anxiety on children‘s lives, children who are vulnerable to the development of anxiety have to be identified at a young age so that early intervention and prevention programmes can be implemented. Behavioural inhibition or shyness in early childhood has been identified as a risk factor for the development of anxiety symptoms. These symptoms may persist into adolescence and adulthood if not addressed timeously. The association between anxiety and behavioural inhibition has been widely researched internationally. However, as far as could be ascertained, no studies in this regard have been conducted within the South African context. With this in mind, the present study aimed to explore the relationship between anxiety symptoms and behavioural inhibition in a sample of young South African children. A cross-sectional research design was employed and data were collected quantitatively. The data for the research were obtained from parents and teachers who reported on the anxiety symptoms and behavioural inhibition in a group of 107 young South African children, divided into two age groups—2- to 3-year-olds and 4- to 6-year-olds—by means of two questionnaires, the Revised Preschool Anxiety Scale (PAS-R) and the Behavioral Inhibition Questionnaire (BIQ). Results of the PAS-R and BIQ scores indicated that there was a positive relationship between anxiety symptoms and behavioural inhibition in young South African children, as reported by both the parents and the teachers. Teacher reports, more so than parent reports indicated a strong relationship between anxiety symptoms and behavioural inhibition. No significant gender differences were found with regard to either anxiety symptoms or behavioural inhibition. Parent reports did not indicate significant age differences regarding anxiety symptoms but teacher reports did. Teachers reported the older group of 4- to 6-year-old children to have higher scores on the Generalized anxiety subscale than the younger group of 2- to 3-year-olds. Lastly, no significant age differences were found with regard to behavioural inhibition according to either the parents or the teachers. In conclusion, this study makes an important contribution to the current literature and also for future studies that would be conducted in this regard.