Generalized Anxiety Disorder among Preschool Children in Baghdad, Iraq
Keywords:preschool children, generalized anxiety disorder, kindergarten, Iraq
ackground: generalized anxiety disorder is a mental health disorder manifested by a lot of worry
with no real cause and more intense than situation need. Few publications on anxiety among preschool
anxiety in Iraq.
Objective: to report on generalized anxiety disorder among preschool children in Iraq (prevalence and
Methods: A total 423 preschool children was included in the study. They were recruited from 4 public
and 4 private kindergartens. They were selected randomly from Al-Rusafa Al-Thania Education
directorate (one out 3 directorates in Al-Rusafa). Spence Child Anxiety Scale-parent version was used
to assess the anxiety.
Results: Generalized anxiety disorder was observed in 37.4% of children. Among the ages 4, 5, and
6 years, generalized anxiety disorder was observed in 37.2%, 35% and 4.3%, respectively. Rate of
the disorder among males was 34.2% and among females was 40.2%. In public kindergartens the rate
of the disorder was significantly higher (43%)than in private ones (31.6%). In low, middle and high
socioeconomic status the rate of disorder were 57.7%, 29.2% and 34.4%, respectively. Paternal and
maternal educational levels were significantly affecting the rate of generalized anxiety disorder (p =
0.003 and 0.009, respectively). The rate of the disorder among preschool children cared by one parent
was significantly higher (86.6%) than those cared by both parents (27.4%) (p=0.0001).
Conclusion: A high prevalence of generalized anxiety disorder among preschool children was observed.
Private kindergarten showed lower rate of the disorder than the public ones.
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