Evidence has suggested that some cognitive emotion regulation strategies people adopt when they encounter stress may exacerbate anxiety, whereas some may help to buffer the impeding effects of stress. However, studies were conducted mainly with adolescents and adults and research done with children is limited. The present study tested how childhood anxiety was related to cognitive emotion regulation strategies and daily hassles, including whether regulation strategies mediate the relation between daily hassles and anxiety. Data were collected from 999 Hong Kong-Chinese children (56.6% boys), aged between 9 and 12 (mean age = 9.90). Results showed that stress was a strong positive predictor of anxiety. Furthermore, rumination (reiterating negative events and emotions) and catastrophizing (envisaging the worst results of a negative event) coping strategies were vulnerability factors for childhood anxiety, whereas positive reappraisal served a protective function. Results also revealed that rumination and catastrophizing partially mediated the effects of stress on anxiety. It is suggested that mental health education should be provided to help children to understand the impeding effects of maladaptive cognitive strategies and to practice the use of adaptive cognitive strategies. Suggestions for future research are discussed. Copyright © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
CitationChan, S. M., Poon, S. F. O., & Tang, E. M. H. (2016). Daily hassles, cognitive emotion regulation and anxiety in children. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 11(3), 238-250.
- Child anxiety
- Cognitive coping