Observed positive and negative behaviors in children: relation to anxiety and depression symptoms
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Anxiety and depression are difficult to differentiate, especially in children. Research has demonstrated that children's self-reported positive and negative affect and cognitions are differentially related to anxiety and depression. Specifically, negative affect and cognitions have been related to both anxiety and depression, whereas positive affect and cognitions have been uniquely negatively related to depression. However, little research has directly examined the relation of positive and negative behaviors to anxiety and depressive symptoms. The present study examined whether children's observed positive and negative behaviors during a speech task differentially related to anxious and depressive symptoms. Positive and negative behavior composites were formed based on several overt behaviors coded from video recordings of the children's speeches. Positive behaviors were significantly associated with depression but not anxiety symptoms. Negative behaviors were not significantly related to anxiety or depression symptoms. Implications for the role of positive and negative behaviors in the etiology, assessment, and treatment of anxious and depressive disorders are discussed.
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