Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 133–142 | Cite as

Anxiety-Promoting Parenting Behaviors: A Comparison of Anxious Mothers and Fathers

  • Rebekah N. Teetsel
  • Golda S. Ginsburg
  • Kelly L. Drake
Original Article


The majority of research identifying anxiety-promoting parenting behaviors has been conducted with mothers, leaving a gap in current knowledge about the role of fathers’ parenting behaviors. In an attempt to fill this gap, this study compared anxiety-promoting parenting behaviors of anxious mothers and fathers. Parents completed self-report measures of parenting behavior and independent coders rated parenting behaviors (i.e., overcontrol, granting of autonomy, warmth, hostility, anxious behavior) of mothers (n = 34) and fathers (n = 21) during a challenging parent–child interaction task (children were ages 6–12). Results indicated that anxious fathers were observed to be more controlling than anxious mothers; while anxious mothers reported using more punishment and reinforcement of children’s dependence in anxiety provoking situations compared to fathers. Findings extend our knowledge about anxious fathers, and highlight the need for additional research on the impact of fathers’ parenting with respect to the development of child anxiety.


Parental anxiety Parenting behavior Parental control Anxious fathers 



This study was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (R01MH077312) awarded to Golda S. Ginsburg.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebekah N. Teetsel
    • 1
  • Golda S. Ginsburg
    • 1
  • Kelly L. Drake
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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