The structure of challenging parenting behavior and associations with anxiety in Dutch and Australian children

Mirjana Majdandžić*, Rebecca S. Lazarus, Frans J. Oort, Cathy van der Sluis, Helen F. Dodd, Talia M. Morris, Wieke de Vente, Yulisha Byrow, Jennifer L. Hudson, Susan M. Bögels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
44 Downloads (Pure)


Challenging parenting behavior (CPB), a novel construct involving active physical and verbal behaviors that encourage children to push their limits, has been identified as a potential buffer against child anxiety. This study aimed to (a) evaluate the measurement invariance of the Challenging Parenting Behavior Questionnaire (CPBQ4-6) across Dutch and Australian mothers and fathers of preschoolers, (b) examine differences in levels of CPB across mothers and fathers and across countries, and (c) examine whether parents’ CPB predicts less child anxiety symptoms and disorders. Participants were 312 families—146 Dutch and 166 Australian—with their 3- to 4-year-old child (55.8% girls). Fathers’ and mothers’ CPB was measured using the CPBQ4-6, and child anxiety symptoms and presence of anxiety disorders were assessed using maternal reports. Multigroup confirmatory factor analyses revealed equivalence of factor structure and factor loadings (all significant) of the CPBQ4-6 across mothers and fathers and across countries. Evidence of partial scalar invariance indicated that the groups differed on some subscales of the CPBQ4-6. Australian mothers scored lower on the CPB factor than Australian fathers and Dutch parents. Structural equation models showed that CPB predicted fewer child anxiety symptoms and anxiety disorders for all groups. The study confirms that the CPBQ4-6 is appropriate for use with Dutch and Australian parents of preschool-age children and identifies CPB as a multifaceted and coherent construct. The negative relations between CPB and child anxiety suggest that CPB has a protective role in childhood anxiety and is important to examine in future research and interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-295
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date22 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


Dive into the research topics of 'The structure of challenging parenting behavior and associations with anxiety in Dutch and Australian children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this