Personality differences between anxious and nonanxious children within a dimensional framework
Abstract As part of a recent research protocol conducted at the Medical University of South Carolina Institute of Psychiatry, anxiety-disordered and nonanxious children (status determined by structured clinical interview) completed a number of questionnaires with the goal of assessing personality differences between groups within the two-dimensional personality conceptualization of hans J. Eysenck (comprising neuroticism and extraversion) and within the closely related two-dimensional personality conceptualization of Jeffrey A. Gray (comprising trait anxiety and impulsivity). Neuroticism and extraversion were assessed via the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire Junior. Trait anxiety was assessed via the RCMAS, while an experimental adaptation of the Barratt Impulsiveness Questionnaire was used to assess impulsivity. As hypothesized, anxiety-disordered children were significantly more neurotic and significantly less extraverted (i.e., more introverted) than nonanxious controls. Also as anticipated, children diagnosed with anxiety disorders were higher on trait anxiety (RCMAS) than nonanxious controls. Extraversion proved a good predictor of presence of anxiety disorder, producing few false positives in a discriminant analysis. Results were in accordance with, and support, the theorizing of H. J. Eysenck and J. A. Gray and parallel recent findings in samples of anxious and nonanxious college students.
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