For Families > Disorders and Treatments > A-Z Disorder Guide > Anxiety

Anxiety Checklist for Parents

by the staff at the NYU Child Study Center

Some of the following symptoms are typical of children who may have an anxiety disorder. If your answer to several questions on this checklist is yes, discuss the results with a mental health professional. To speak with someone in the NYU Child Study Center's Institute for Anxiety and Mood Disorders, call (212) 236-6622.

Does your child frequently have a headache or a stomachache before leaving for school?
Yes No

Is your child too shy to speak to people not in the immediate family?
Yes No

Does your child seem anxious when interacting with her peers?
Yes No

Does your child have an unreasonable fear of an object or a situation, such as flying, heights, enclosed places, animals?
Yes No

When your child encounters the feared object of situation, does he react by freezing, clinging, or having a tantrum?
Yes No

Does your child avoid or show distress before social situations?
Yes No

Does your child experience a high number of nightmares, headaches, or stomachaches?
Yes No

Does your child worry excessively about her competence and quality of her performance?
Yes No

Has your child experienced a decline in school work, refused to go to school, or avoided after-school social activities?
Yes No

Does your child often redo tasks in an effort to be perfect?
Yes No

Does your child spend a great deal of time each day doing things over and over again such as hand washing, checking things?
Yes No

Does your child experience shortness of breath, lightheadedness, or a pounding heart for no apparent reason?
Yes No

Reference: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, American Psychiatric Association, 1994