Date of Award

Spring 4-4-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

First Advisor

Dr. Sean O'Shea

Abstract

The following paper closely examines anxiety in school-aged children, especially those predisposed through environmental and biological factors. While there are many typical worries and fears in children, atypical signs that point to an anxiety disorder include severity and high frequency of worry and avoidance behavior. Anxiety disorders affect roughly a third of children ages six through eleven, and early intervention and cognitive strategies are extremely effective in giving children coping skills for their separation, social, or generalized anxiety. Some of the treatment plans examined in this paper include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Narrative Therapy and Externalization. Professional and at home treatment plans are examined, and current children’s books are critiqued through this therapeutic lens. Some children’s books are helpful in providing comfort or tools to anxious children, while many trivialize the fear or give false hope of “curing” anxiety with quick fixes. This author has written and illustrated a children’s book entitled “My Scary and Me” that combines therapeutic approaches with the author’s unique experiences with anxiety herself. The text and illustrations in the picture book aim to make anxious feelings external, visible, and relatable for anxious children.

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