How Children and Adults Experience Anxiety and Depression

Post your response to the following: Children, like adults, experience depression and anxiety. How do the experiences of children who feel anxiety or depression compare to those of adults who feel anxiety or depression? Explain your answers.

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The age factor seems to be of great consequence to both the development of depression and anxiety disorders in children. The anxiety disorders mentioned; school phobia (school refusal) and separation anxiety disorder, both seem to stem from a child’s relationship and/or dependency on their parents/guardians. It was not mentioned specifically, but an authoritative attachment style could potentially contribute to the development of these anxiety disorders, specifically a parent exhibiting a cold, strict disciplinary style. This could cause anxiety in the child because they might not know how to operate at school outside the framework of strict discipline. On the other hand, childhood depression has much more in common with adult depression. Some causal factors mentioned for childhood depression are learned helplessness, biochemical imbalance, and learned helplessness. Furthermore, childhood depression seems to also be biologically predisposed by genetic abnormalities coupled with a stress-related onset. The only thing that appears to be different for childhood depression is the type of stress a child undergoes. An adult might be stressed about work, a current relationship, etc… but a child might be stressed about physical abuse, school, or even sexual abuse.

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Nevid, J.S., & Rathus, S.A. (2005). Psychology and the challenges of life: Adjustment in the new millennium (9th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

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