Joint hypermobility is a marker for anxiety in children

Andrea Bulbena-Cabre, Lourdes Duñó, Sara Almeda, Santiago Batlle, Ester Camprodon-Rosanas, Luis Miguel Martín-Lopez, Antonio Bulbena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

6 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019 SEP y SEPB Background: Joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS) has been found to be associated with anxiety disorders in clinical and nonclinical populations, but to date no studies have evaluated this association in children. The main goal of this study is to evaluate JHS along with anxiety, somatic and behavioral measures in children to clarify if JHS is associated with any of these variables in this age range. Methods: A sample of 160 children (74 girls and 86 boys) ranging from 5 to 17 o were recruited from a Child-Adolescent Mental Health clinic to participate in the study. All children underwent a diagnostic interview using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview for Children and Adolescents. Instruments used include the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), the Screening Questionnaire to detect Hypermobility (SQ-CH) and the Children Manifested Anxiety Scale (CMAS-R). Results: The prevalence of JHS in this sample was 22%, and this was significantly higher in girls (31%) than in boys (14%) (χ2 = 6.83; P=.001). The JHS group scored significantly higher in the CMAS-R total anxiety (F = 4.51; P=.035), CMAS-R Physiological anxiety (F = 7.19; P=.008) and the CBCL somatic complaints (F = 8.46; 0.004) and regression analyses showed that these 3 variables were predictors of JHS (χ2 = 36.77; P<.001; r2 = 0.22). The JHS group also scored higher in some behavioral measures. Conclusion: Children with JHS have higher frequency of anxiety disorders and higher intensity of physiological anxiety, somatic complaints, and therefore, JHS might be used as marker for this anxiety phenotype in youngsters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-76
JournalRevista de Psiquiatria y Salud Mental
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • Anxiety
  • Children
  • Joint hypermobility


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