ANXIETY SYMPTOMS IN CHINESE AND GERMAN ADOLESCENTS: THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH EARLY LEARNING EXPERIENCES, PERFECTIONISM, AND LEARNING MOTIVATION


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Abstract

The main aim of this study was to compare the frequency and correlates of DSM-IV anxiety disorder symptoms among non-referred adolescents in Germany and in Hong Kong. A total of 1,022 adolescents (594 from Germany and 428 from Hong Kong) between the ages of 12 and 17 years were investigated. Results showed that adolescents in Hong Kong reported significantly higher levels of anxiety symptoms than adolescents in Germany. Anxiety symptoms showed different correlates in different cultures. Specifically, academic motivational goals to compete to get good grades and to be rewarded for their performance correlated significantly with anxiety symptoms in Hong Kong. In Germany, anxiety symptoms correlated significantly with reinforcement received for anxiety-related problems (i.e., instrumental learning) and with parental verbal transmission about the danger of anxiety (i.e., informational learning). The findings underscore the importance of cultural factors on adolescent's anxiety.

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