What are common signs of anxiety in children?

Anxiety SignChildren may demonstrate signs of anxiety in a variety of ways, according to experts in Pennsylvania's public schools who spoke with Partners for Public Education.

Some children may be hesitant or fearful about school. This can range from a school phobia and frequent absences to incomplete work, difficulty concentrating, and a decline in grades.

Children may also show signs of excessive worrying in and out of school. This may include a fear of new situations, becoming easily frustrated or upset by mistakes, frequently asking reassuring questions, or frequent bouts of tears. Anxiety can make it difficult for some children to engage in social activities at school and make friends.

Anxiety can also cause physical symptoms, such as stomachaches, headaches, problems sleeping, and dizziness.

Other symptoms to watch for include excessive anger, irritability, or inflexibility, acting out spontaneously, showing signs of memory problems, seeming overreactive, and exhibiting ritualistic or repetitive behavior.

While anxiety is linked to genetics, experts say that life events can increase anxiety for children. Here are some specific events that can be triggers:

  • Physical factors, such as puberty or illness
  • Traumatic events, such as a death, an accident, bullying, or domestic abuse
  • Environmental factors, such as moving or changing schools
  • Familial changes, such as parental separation or divorce
  • Socioeconomic factors, such as a lack of money for academic or health needs

Read more in the January 2017 Partners Post:

 

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