Chapter Analysis: 'Anxiety Disorders' From 'Understanding Abnormal Child Psychology' by Mash and Wolfe
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Chapter 7 "Anxiety Disorders" Mash and Wolfe (2012),Understanding Abnormal Child Psychology 5th edition
Most of this chapter is explanatory in nature and there is no controversial information related to anxiety disorders in children. Mash & Wolfe (2012) define anxiety as a strong negative emotion, but note that some anxiety is an adaptive response to genuine environmental threats. Anxiety becomes problematic when it arises for no reason or out of proportion to the perceived threat. Children who experience excessive levels anxiety can develop psychological problems like anxiety disorders, and it is therefore important o address children's anxiety as early as possible.
The authors describe the three anxiety responses, which are interrelated. These three include the physical or biological response (such as the primitive fight-or-flight response); the cognitive response to stressful stimuli with anxiety, and the behavioral aspects or reactions to the feeling of anxiety. Cognitive and behavioral responses to anxiety are fed by the biological responses to stressors, fear, or perceived threats. Behavioral responses include aggression, anger, or avoidance. The authors provide a chart delineating the different responses of anxiety, including physical symptoms such as sweating. The authors also distinguish between fear and anxiety, also defining the panic response.
One of the most helpful areas of the chapter is on how to distinguish between "normal" worries and fears versus