Physiological and Behavioral Indicators of School Anxiety



We describe the results of a longitudinal study (2007-2012; 2013 to present), in which the regularities of the relationship between psychological and physiological indicators of children’s adaptation to the conditions of schooling are revealed. In particular, it was found that the risk of formation of school anxiety is associated with status of the child in the class position. Physiological marker of experienced anxiety in children in this risk group is cortisol in saliva samples. We revealed sensitivity of sympathoadrenal tone index to the state of anxiety in “inadequately calm” children. These students are consistently isolated in pupils group and exhibit behavioral disorders. We describe the preliminary results of three consecutive measurements of indicators of school anxiety and aggressiveness. The extent is revealed to which the risk of aggressive behavior is associated with hostility as the negative personality attitude. It was found that hostility is positively correlated with the school, self-evaluation and interpersonal anxiety of the children.

General Information

Keywords: anxiety, variation pulsometry index, concentration of cortisol, unusual behavior, aggression, hostility

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Tarasova S.J., Osnitsky A.K. Physiological and Behavioral Indicators of School Anxiety. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2015. Vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 59–68. DOI: 10.17759/pse.2015200107. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Sofya J. Tarasova, PhD in Psychology, senior scientific differential psychology and psychophysiology laboratory worker, Psychological University Russian Education Academy (PU REA), docent of clinical psychology department, International University of Nation, Society and Human “Dubna”, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Alexey K. Osnitsky, Doctor of Psychology, professor, major scientific differential psychology and psychophysiology laboratory worker, Psychological University Russian Education Academy (PU REA), professor of general psychology department, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education MSUPE, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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