Structure of anxiety symptoms among children: a confirmatory factor-analytic study

J Abnorm Psychol. 1997 May;106(2):280-97. doi: 10.1037//0021-843x.106.2.280.


This study examined the degree to which anxiety symptoms among children cluster into subtypes of anxiety problems consistent with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edition) classification of anxiety disorders. Two community samples of 698 children 8-12 years of age completed a questionnaire regarding the frequency with which they experienced a wide range of anxiety symptoms. Confirmatory factor analysis of responses from Cohort 1 indicated that a model involving 6 discrete but correlated factors, reflecting the areas of panic-agoraphobia, social phobia, separation anxiety, obsessive-compulsive problems, generalized anxiety, and physical fears, provided an excellent fit of the data. The high level of covariance between latent factors was satisfactorily explained by a higher order model in which each 1st-order factor loaded on a single 2nd-order factor. The findings were replicated with Cohort 2 and were equivalent across genders.

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / classification
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results