Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent in children with asthma yet very little is known about the parenting factors that may underlie this relationship. The aim of the current study was to examine observed parenting behaviours – involvement and negativity - associated with asthma and anxiety in children using the tangram task and the Five Minute Speech Sample (FMSS). Eighty-nine parent-child dyads were included across four groups of children (8–13 years old): asthma and anxiety, anxiety only, asthma only and healthy controls. Overall, results from both tasks showed that parenting behaviours of children with and without asthma did not differ significantly. Results from a subcomponent of the FMSS indicated that parents of children with asthma were more overprotective, or self-sacrificing, or non-objective than parents of children without asthma, and this difference was greater in the non-anxious groups. The results suggest that some parenting strategies developed for parents of children with anxiety may be useful for parents of children with asthma and anxiety (e.g. strategies targeting involvement), however, others may not be necessary (e.g. those targeting negativity).
- anxiety disorders