Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 345–355

Is it Generalized Anxiety Disorder or Poverty? An Examination of Poor Mothers and Their Children

Authors

    • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • MiSung Kim
    • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Bonnie Wilkenfeld
    • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10560-012-0263-3

Cite this article as:
Baer, J.C., Kim, M. & Wilkenfeld, B. Child Adolesc Soc Work J (2012) 29: 345. doi:10.1007/s10560-012-0263-3

Abstract

This paper addresses generalized anxiety disorder in poor families and argues that DSM definitions have led to an expansion in the domains of what is considered disorder. Social factors, which are importantly involved in many samples used to study GAD, have been overlooked. This was a secondary analysis of data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 4,898). The findings confirmed that the poorest mothers had greater odds of being classified as having generalized anxiety disorder. We also conducted a structural equation model. Our findings suggest that anxiety in poor mothers is not psychiatric, but a reaction to severe environmental deficits. Thus assessment and interventions should be targeted at the environmental level and diagnostic labels should be used judiciously.

Keywords

Generalized anxiety disorderPoor mothers and their childrenStructural equation modeling

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012