Parental factors associated with anxiety in preschool-aged children

Byrne, Luka (2012). Parental factors associated with anxiety in preschool-aged children Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Byrne, Luka
Thesis Title Parental factors associated with anxiety in preschool-aged children
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-10-10
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Sonja March
Total pages 101
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Recently, research has confirmed that preschool-aged children can experience clinically significant anxiety and that the prevalence and presentation of these disorders is not unlike that of older children. Despite these findings, and that fact that the pre-school years reflect a developmental stage quite distinct from middle childhood, research into the determinants of anxiety in preschool-aged children is limited. The present study aimed to examine the additive and interactive effect of parental factors, in particular; parental psychopathology and parenting behaviours, on the prediction of anxiety disorders in preschool-aged children. Participants were 98 parents of children aged 3- to 5-years-old (49 children with a diagnosed anxiety disorder and 49 with no diagnosis). Participants completed the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule – Parent Version over the telephone to determine the child’s diagnostic status. Parental psychopathology (depression, anxiety and stress) and parenting behaviours (overprotection, rejecting, anxious rearing and emotional warmth) were assessed using self-report measures. Parental depression, anxiety and stress all independently predicted the presence of child anxiety symptom severity and the presence of an anxiety disorder. After controlling for these parental psychopathology variables, none of the parenting styles contributed to the prediction of child anxiety diagnosis, however anxious rearing and rejecting parenting behaviours were associated with increased child anxiety symptom severity. No interactions between parental psychopathology vairables and parenting behaviours were found for child anxiety. The results highlight the importance of parental factors in anxiety in preschool-aged children, particularly emphasising the robustness of parental psychopathology as a predictor of anxiety across child development. The implications of these findings are discussed and future directions for research are suggested.
Keyword Parental factors
Association with anxiety in preschool-aged children

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Created: Thu, 21 Feb 2013, 14:42:48 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology