Measuring anxiety in children: A methodological review of the literature

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This paper provides a comprehensive methodological review of the literature concerning anxiety measurement in children. Initially, a conceptual basis for anxiety measures is introduced, followed by specific approaches to measuring childhood anxiety based on 14 original articles. In particular, a variety of strategies that have been used in previous research are discussed in detail with theoretical underpinnings. Common approaches to measure anxiety such as self-reported instruments, observational ratings, and behavioral checklists are reviewed one by one with a critical look at the strengths and weaknesses of each of these approaches. While multiple measures of anxiety are available to assess the level of anxiety in children, selection of measurement approach should be an iterative process based on rigorous evaluation of evidence of reliability and cross-validation of the tool across different age groups of children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-62
Number of pages14
JournalAsian Nursing Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Anxiety
  • Child
  • Epidemiologic measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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