An article recently published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence investigated how different types of anxiety symptoms influence students’ psychological well-being and academic achievement. 715 third or fourth graders in China were recruited for the study. They completed measures of anxiety every six months in three years. The measure covered five dimensions of anxiety, including panic disorder, generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, social anxiety, and school anxiety. Students’ psychological well-being and academic achievement were assessed in the third year of the study.
The findings showed that:
- Students in the moderately high with predominant generalized and social anxiety group reported the lowest level of psychological well-being as the congruent-high group did. Their life satisfaction and self-esteem levels were the lowest, while they displayed the highest levels of depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation.
- Students in the group of congruent-low anxiety and moderately low with predominant social anxiety showed the highest academic achievement.
- The group of moderately low with predominant school anxiety and congruent-high anxiety displayed the lowest academic achievement.
The authors suggested that the different psychological and academic outcomes caused by specific anxiety symptoms implied that anxiety interventions need to display a targeted focus and specific strategies for each group.
Source: Xu, X., Huebner, E. S., & Tian, L. (2021). Co-developmental trajectories of specific anxiety symptoms from middle childhood to early adolescence: associations with psychological well-being and academic achievement. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. Advanced online publication. Doi: 10.1007/s10964-021-01411-5