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SHARED COGNITIVE PREDICTORS OF ANXIETY SUBTYPE SYMPTOMS AND READING ABILITY IN CHILDREN
Weaker reading ability is related to increased anxiety in children, but little is known about how this relationship differs across various subtypes of anxiety disorders, or which cognitive risk factors may compound this relationship. The current study investigates relationships between reading, cognitive ability, and anxiety subtypes dimensionally within a population-based sample. Reading and anxiety subtypes were differentially related: weaker reading ability was associated with increased social anxiety (SOC) symptoms, whereas, unexpectedly, weaker reading ability was significantly associated with lower generalized anxiety (GAD) symptoms. Of the cognitive predictors, only processing speed (PS) was uniquely associated with SOC symptoms. The relationship between reading and PS was robust to controlling for IQ. These findings suggest that the relationship between reading and SOC is partially attributable to cognitive factors associated with reading, particularly PS. The compounded risk for SOC in struggling readers may indicate a need for psychotherapeutic intervention to coincide with reading instruction.