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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, e-psyche, PsycINFO, Scopus
Online ISSN 1827-1731
Cioffi R., Velicogna F.
Background. The aim of this study was to evaluate the levels of depression and anxiety in a group of teenagers.
Methods. A population of 268 students (aged 11, 12, 13 and 14 years old) from Prato were asked to complete two tests: Children's Depression Scale (CDS) and the Anxiety Scale questionnaire (both translated into Italian by Special Organizations). Answers to both tests were formulated on five levels (CDS is already structured in this way, but the anxiety test only gives three levels). An analysis was the made of the frequency distributions for both tests.
Results. Frequency analysis confirmed the appropriateness of including more alternative choices. The second step was an explorative factorial analysis (interpretation of scree plot, awareness of self-values and the variance percentages explained by hypothetical factors, method of main components with varimax rotation). This analysis amply confirmed the factorial structures given by the Authors of the tests. Lastly, an attempt was made to integrate the questionnaires (using the same factorial methodology). This produced surprising results: four factors were extracted which could be clearly related to those in the original tests with good reproduction coefficients (these groups were correlated together with interesting results).
Conclusions. The anxiety of not succeeding well in class appears to generate uncertainty in one's own capacities. This uncertainty increases the level of anxiety, triggering off a sort of reverberating circuit: lack of confidence in one's own potential creates a level of anxiety that can be seen in both the context of school and outside the classroom. The sense of guilt arising from lack of success in some situations and in social relationships does not necessarily lead to failure at school, nor to a level of anxiety that affects performance in class. Environmental anxiety and the feeling of guilt are often combined in the same structure; anxious subjects often present these symptoms both in an educational context and also in a wider social one.