Research with clinically anxious adults has revealed that they estimate future negative events as far more likely to occur, relative to healthy controls. In addition, anxious adults estimate that such events are more likely to happen to themselves than to others. Previous research with anxious children and adolescents, in contrast, has revealed no increased probability estimates for negative events, relative to controls, and the events were rated as more likely to happen to others than to the self. The present study followed up these discrepant findings by investigating probability estimates for future negative events in children and adolescents with high and low levels of self-reported trait anxiety but who had no reported history of emotional disorder. The results revealed a significant difference between the two groups with respect to their overall probability estimates for negative events, the high anxious group estimating that negative events were more likely to happen than the low anxious group. These findings are consistent with the results using adult clinical subject's and support the suggestion that previous differences between the adult and developmental literature are a function of non-normative performance specifically in clinically anxious younger participants. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.