Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Not specified


The broad domain of internalizing disorders encompasses a variety of symptoms that are specific to child and adolescent populations and generalizable to adult populations. Internalizing disorders, commonly referred to as " emotional problems," include such problems as depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, somatic complaints, and low self-esteem. The other side of this classification dichotomy is that of externalizing disorders (e.g., conduct disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder), which involve overt behaviors considered as "undercontrolled". In contrast, internalizing problems involve behaviors that possess an "overcontrolled" quality. Such a covert nature leads to difficulty in identification and diagnosis, as they often go unnoticed by the child' s teachers, parents, and peers, thus resulting in prolonged distress of the individual. In addition, the broad construct of internalizing disorders often involves an element of comorbidity among the various internalizing disorders. This element of co-existence is further evidenced in the recent interest of clinicians regarding the question as to whether anxiety and depression represent two distinct states or rather a broad-band construct termed " negative affectivity" (Hodges, 1990). Negative affect is a "broad and pervasive predisposition to experience negative emotions that have further influences on cognition, self-concept, and world view" (Carey, Clark, & Watson, 1988, p . 347).

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