Title page for ETD etd-02272009-141533

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Munson, Melissa S
URN etd-02272009-141533
Title Intellectual Ability in Children with Anxiety: A Replication and Exploration of the Differences
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Thompson Davis III Committee Chair
Jason Hicks Committee Member
Johnny Matson Committee Member
  • anxiety
  • intelligence
  • memory
Date of Defense 2008-12-10
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of anxiety on the intellectual functioning of children. Specifically, the current researchers sought to replicate previous findings that children with higher levels of anxiety have significantly lower scores on tests of intelligence. A second goal was to examine possible reasons for these deficits, including possible deficits in working memory and/or attention. Participants were divided into two groups with high and low anxiety, based on a self-report measure, though none of the children reported clinically problematic anxiety. The participants were 19 children (10 males, 9 females) who were recruited from the community and from an anxiety clinic. Children were administered an intelligence test and a memory test by a trained clinician. Parents and children were also asked to complete self-report measures of anxiety symptoms and other problem behaviors. Contrary to the hypothesis, those with higher levels of anxiety scored significantly higher on the intelligence test then children reporting lower anxiety. No differences were found between the groups on the measures of working memory or attention, therefore meditational analyses were not undertaken. Possible explanations of these findings, as well as limitations and recommendations for future research are also explored.
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