Date of Award
Childhood anxiety disorders traditionally do not garner much attention in academic settings. However, many studies have concluded that approximately 1 in 8 children has an anxiety disorder by age 12, often beginning at earlier ages but going undiagnosed. Further, studies have shown that these disorders strongly affect both behavior (e.g. bullying, school attendance, and social performance) and academic performance (e.g. literacy, mathematical learning). Under several existing pieces of legislature, public schools should already be providing treatment for these disorders; however, due to financial costs and the silent nature of these internalizing disorders, few schools have any provisions for the numerous students silently struggling. The primary objective of this study was to show rates of anxiety and depression in a broad sample of Mississippi students from public school districts around the state in order to evaluate the need for interventions. Participants included 10,891 students from a wide variety of school districts, ranging in grade levels from 2-12. The ethnicity of students was highly diverse and representative of the state of Mississippi. The diagnostic measure used was the Revised Childhood Anxiety and Depression Scale, which measures symptoms of social phobia, panic disorder, major depression, separation anxiety, generalized anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. As hypothesized, given the low socioeconomic status of the area, the rates of depression and anxiety in students from Mississippi are slightly higher than the national average; however, it is important to note there are many possible contributing factors. Given these findings and the outlined risks associated with these disorders, public education should be providing clinical interventions for students with internalizing disorders.
Varner, Madison, "Internalizing Disorders Among Mississippi Public School Students and the Need for Intervention" (2019). Honors Theses. 1068.