Do controlling maternal behaviours increase state anxiety in children's responses to a social threat? A pilot study

Alice de Wilde, Ronald M. Rapee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Past research has demonstrated a link between controlling parenting and child anxiety. However, the causal nature of this association has not yet been established since most previous studies have utilised cross-sectional designs. The aim of the current study was to implement an experimental design to examine the impact of maternal control on children's state anxiety when faced with a social threat. Mothers of 26 children aged 7-13 years were randomly allocated to conditions in which they were either required to be overly controlling or minimally controlling during preparation of a practice speech by their child. In a subsequent speech that children were required to prepare alone, children whose mothers had previously been overly controlling during the practice showed greater anxiety than did children whose mothers had previously been minimally controlling. This pilot study describes a novel paradigm that has the potential to address issues related to the causal role of specific parenting behaviours in the experience of negative emotions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-537
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

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