Metacognitive Beliefs and Processes in Clinical Anxiety in Children

Karen E. Smith, Jennifer L. Hudson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    38 Citations (Scopus)


    Recent research has explored the role of metacognitive beliefs and processes in clinical anxiety in youth. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between metacognitions and anxiety in 7- to 12-year-old children with and without clinical anxiety disorders. A secondary aim of the study was to investigate the psychometric properties of the recently developed Metacognitions Questionnaire for Children (MCQ-C). The sample consisted of 83 children (60.2% female; Oceanian 71.1%), comprising 49 children with anxiety disorders and 34 nonclinical children. All children completed self-report measures of anxiety, emotional difficulties, and metacognitions. A subsample of 7- to 8-year-old participants was used to explore whether young children could wholly comprehend all items on the MCQ-C. Positive and negative metacognitive beliefs and cognitive monitoring were significantly correlated with anxiety and emotional difficulties. Clinical children endorsed significantly more negative and more positive metacognitive beliefs than nonclinical children. Each subscale of the MCQ-C had poor internal consistency. Support for the criterion and convergent validity of the MCQ-C was found. The results suggest that certain metacognitions play a role in clinical anxiety in children but that psychometrically and developmentally validated measures of these concepts in younger individuals are needed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)590-602
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013


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