Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 562–575 | Cite as

Maternal Parenting and Child Behaviour: An Observational Study of Childhood Social Anxiety Disorder

  • Julia AsbrandEmail author
  • Jennifer Hudson
  • Julian Schmitz
  • Brunna Tuschen-Caffier
Original Article


Etiological models of social anxiety disorder (SAD) suggest parenting is involved in the development of SAD. However, previous studies have often neglected potential contributions of child behaviour to parenting behaviour. Further, parent–child interaction has often been assessed in artificial laboratory settings thereby impairing ecological validity. Children (aged 9–13 years) with SAD (n = 27) and healthy controls (HC, n = 27) completed a puzzle task with mothers present at home. Parent–child interactions were analysed for parenting (e.g., negativity, involvement) and child behaviour (e.g., dependence, helplessness). Mothers of children with SAD showed more involvement than mothers of HC children. Maternal involvement was related to child dependence in HC dyads only, while maternal negativity was correlated with negative child behaviour in both groups. The study indicates maternal over-involvement in their interactions with children with SAD at home. The lack of relation to child behaviour in SAD dyads points to inflexibility in mother–child interactions.


Social Anxiety Child Behaviour Parenting Behaviour Social Anxiety Disorder Anxious Child 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported by a stipend from the German National Merit Foundation granted to the first author. Compensation for participants was provided by the Scientific Community Freiburg/Breisgau. The diagnostic procedure was subsidised by a grant from the DFG to the last author (TU 78/5-2).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Julia Asbrand, Jennifer Hudson, Julian Schmitz, Brunna Tuschen-Caffier declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants (children and parents) included in this study.

Animal Rights

No animal studies were carried out by the authors of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Asbrand
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jennifer Hudson
    • 2
  • Julian Schmitz
    • 3
    • 4
  • Brunna Tuschen-Caffier
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Institute of PsychologyUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Centre for Emotional HealthMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Department for Clinical Child and Adolescent PsychologyUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  4. 4.Leipzig Research Center for Early Child DevelopmentUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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