Scholarly Communications Project

The Effects Of Anxiety and Depression on Children's Utilization of Medical Health Care Services


Laura D. Seligman

Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of



Thomas H. Ollendick, Chair
George A. Clum
Robin P. Cooper

October 7, 1996
Blacksburg, Virginia


The current study was designed to examine the relationship between childhood anxiety and depression and children's rate of medical care utilization. Additionally, the model examined considered family and parental factors (family conflict, parental anxiety, parental depression, and parental somatization) as well as children's level of negative affectivity and demographic variables (ageand sex). A hierarchical regression analysis was used to examine the effects of each of these variables on rate of physician utilization and to control for the effects of demographic factors, parent/family variables and negative affectivity while examining childhood anxiety and depression. Results revealed that parental anxiety and depression and family conflict contribute significantly to the explanation of children's health care utilization. Additionally, child anxiety also explained number of physician visits but only when considered in the absence of child depression.

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