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Anxiety in Childhood: Cultural Factors

Anxiety is an adaptive, universally occurring emotional response that signals need to take precautionary measures against danger. Normal childhood fears can escalate to pathological levels as a consequence of modeling and direct messages from significant others in social interactions, as well as environmental consequences (e.g., reassurance) of the child’s response to anxiety. Microlevel reciprocal social interactions are continuously influenced by the larger cultural context in which they take place. For the purposes of this discussion, culture is defined as a collective set of beliefs, values, and norms shared by a society; nationality and ethnicity are often used as proxy representations of culture in research examining direct and indirect cultural influences on interpretation, expression, and prevalence of childhood anxiety.

Interpretation

Cultural beliefs regarding the etiology of anxiety symptoms ...

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