Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU) may be important for the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders but research with preadolescent children has relied entirely on questionnaire measures to assess IU. Here we aimed to develop a behavioural measure of IU that was appropriate for preadolescent children by adapting the beads task (Jacoby, Abramowitz, Buck, & Fabricant, 2014).
Participants were 51 typically developing children (26 female; 7-11 years). We examined first whether preadolescent participants could understand and complete the task, then how participants responded to varying levels of uncertainty. We also conducted exploratory analyses regarding associations between task measures and questionnaire measures of IU, anxiety and worry.
Overall, the adapted Beads Task appears suitable for preadolescent children and is able to capture reactions to uncertainty. At least some of these reactions are related to questionnaire measures of IU and anxiety. Implications and areas for future research are discussed to provide insights into how behavioural tasks examining responses to uncertainty can improve our understanding of IU.
The sample size was relatively small. There was no control task or condition without uncertainty.
Overall, the adapted Beads Task appears suitable for preadolescent children and is able to capture reactions to uncertainty. This type of behavioural task would be appropriate for use in future research that aims to improve our understanding of IU in children.

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