Maternal Parenting and Child Behaviour: An Observational Study of Childhood Social Anxiety Disorder
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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.
KeywordsSocial Anxiety Child Behaviour Parenting Behaviour Social Anxiety Disorder Anxious Child
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.
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 was obtained from all individual participants (children and parents) included in this study.
No animal studies were carried out by the authors of this article.
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