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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1993 Jan;32(1):8-14.

What, me worry? A survey of adolescents' concerns.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics and Psychology, Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio 43205.


Adolescence is generally regarded as a time of transition demanding considerable adaptation. Failing to successfully negotiate the developmental hurdles associated with this period can have serious physical and psychosocial consequences (e.g., teenage pregnancy, suicide, disruption of social relationships, poor school performance). Efforts to identify problems that adolescents typically experience have been useful in facilitating a better understanding of this developmental phase. However, the perceived concerns or worries of adolescents themselves have been neglected as an additional source of useful information. This study assessed the worries of 622 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 20 years on an 80-item self-report measure, the "Things That Worry Me" scale. Findings indicated consistent concerns related to terrorism, adolescents' self-esteem, parents' physical and mental health, and adolescents' dating and sexual relationships. Gender- and race-specific differences are discussed and implications for future research and clinical applications are offered.

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