Category: Child / Adolescent - Anxiety
Background: Latinos make up the nation's largest minority group and have an estimated lifetime prevalence rate of 15.7% for anxiety disorders. Maladaptive perfectionism, including self-oriented (SOP) and socially-prescribed (SPP), is a construct gaining attention in its relationship to youth anxiety disorders. Much of the research on anxiety and perfectionism is based largely on Caucasian youth, with little focus on ethnic minorities. Furthermore, there is a dearth of literature on valid measurements of anxiety symptoms in Latino adolescents. The purpose of this study was two-fold; conduct an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) using the Screen for Child and Adolescent Related Disorders (SCARED) to better assess anxiety in our Latino sample, and use these findings to investigate the predictive relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and anxiety symptoms in Latino youth.
Methods: Self-report measures of anxiety disorder symptoms using the SCARED and maladaptive perfectionism using the Child-Adolescent Perfectionism Scale (CAPS) were administered to Latino middle school students (n=128) from grades six through eight (48% male; average age = 11.9 years) who attended an urban, bilingual, public, charter school. An EFA was conducted on the SCARED with this sample. Using the results from the EFA, multiple regression analyses were calculated to investigate the predictive relationship between anxiety disorder symptoms and perfectionism.
Results: A principle component analysis with varimax rotation was conducted to assess the underlying structures for the 41 items of the SCARED. Four factors with rotated Eigenvalues at or above 2.50 were examined and accounted for 32.49% of the total variance, which is different from the five-factor structure reported in the original standardized measure. Using the results of this EFA, a multiple regression was conducted using the new four-factor structure to determine if SOP and SPP predicted overall anxiety symptoms. Results indicated both types of perfectionism significantly predicted anxiety symptoms, F(2, 125) = 27.39, p < .001, r = .44. Findings indicated that SOP (B = .37, t = 3.94, p < .001) and SPP (B = .24, t = 2.54, p < .05) significantly predicted overall anxiety symptoms. Additional multiple regressions analyses were conducted to test if certain types of perfectionism predicted specific anxiety symptoms. SPP predicted symptoms of panic, whereas SOP predicted symptoms of social, separation, and generalized anxiety.
Conclusions: These findings indicate that the SCARED may have a different factor structure for Latino youth, as has been discussed in the literature. Examining the applicability and adaptability of standardized measures for Latino youth is recommended. Furthermore, the findings provide support for the previously established connection between anxiety symptoms and perfectionism and demonstrate that such a connection exists in Latino youth. Given the predictive relationship between types of maladaptive perfectionism and anxiety, further studies are recommended to explore the role of perfectionism in developing anxiety disorders and the impact of perfectionism on the treatment of anxiety disorders.