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Scand J Psychol. 2010 Jun 1;51(3):271-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2009.00763.x. Epub 2010 Jan 27.

Anxiety disorders in 8-11-year-old children: motor skill performance and self-perception of competence.

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Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.


This study investigates motor skill performance and self-perceived competence in children with anxiety disorders compared with children without psychiatric disorders. Motor skills and self-perception were assessed in 329 children aged 8 to 11 years, from the Bergen Child Study. The Kiddie-SADS PL diagnostic interview was employed to define a group of children with an anxiety disorder without comorbid diagnosis, and a control group (no diagnosis) matched according to gender, age, and full-scale IQ. Children in the anxiety disorder group displayed impaired motor skills and poor self-perceived peer acceptance and physical competence compared with the control group. Two-thirds of the anxious boys scored on the Motor Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) as having motor problems. The present study demonstrated impaired motor skills in boys with "pure" anxiety disorders. Anxious children also perceived themselves as being less accepted by peers and less competent in physical activities compared with children in the control group.

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