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ERIC Number: EJ1156638
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0033-3085
Teachers' Recognition of Anxiety and Somatic Symptoms in Their Pupils
Neil, Louise; Smith, Marjorie
Psychology in the Schools, v54 n9 p1176-1188 Nov 2017
Anxiety and somatic symptoms in children are common and debilitating, yet frequently go unidentified and untreated. This study investigated whether teachers can recognize children's anxiety and somatic symptoms, and how they identify children they perceive to be anxious or somatizing. A sample of 1,346 7- to 11-year-old children, their 51 class teachers, and 144 parents took part in the study. Data on children's anxiety and somatic symptoms were collected using standardized scales and simple 1-5 teacher rating scales. Teachers were also asked to identify children they perceived to have "debilitating" levels of anxiety and (separately) somatic symptoms and to provide brief qualitative descriptions to explain their choices. Small but significant positive associations were found between teachers' and children's reports of anxiety and somatic symptoms. Identified children reported similar levels of anxiety than children not identified, but significantly greater levels of somatic symptoms, although the size of this difference was modest. Teachers commonly described crying and avoidance as signs of anxiety. Findings suggest that teachers show limited sensitivity to the variation in pupils' levels of anxiety and somatic symptoms, and may struggle to identify children who may benefit from interventions or extra support in these domains.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A