Cognitive coping and childhood anxiety disorders

Jeroen Legerstee, N Garnefski, FC Jellesma, Frank Verhulst, Lisbeth Utens

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67 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate differences in cognitive coping strategies between anxiety-disordered and non-anxious 9-11-year-old children. Additionally, differences in cognitive coping between specific anxiety disorders were examined. A clinical sample of 131 anxiety-disordered children and a general population sample of 452 non-anxious children were gathered. All children filled out the child version of the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (CERQ-k). Structured clinical interviews were used to assess childhood anxiety disorders. Results showed that anxiety-disordered children experience significantly more 'lifetime' negative life events than non-anxious children. Adjusted for the 'lifetime' experience of negative life events, anxiety-disordered children scored significantly higher on the strategies catastrophizing and rumination, and significantly lower on the strategies positive reappraisal and refocus on planning than non-anxious children. No significant differences in cognitive coping were found between children with specific anxiety disorders. Anxiety-disordered children employ significantly more maladaptive and less adaptive cognitive coping strategies in response to negative life events than non-anxious children. The results suggest that cognitive coping is a valuable target for prevention and treatment of childhood anxiety problems.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)143-150
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Research programs

  • EMC NIHES-04-55-01

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