Observational measures of parenting in anxious and nonanxious mothers: Does type of task matter?

Golda S. Ginsburg, Rachel L. Grover, Jennalee J. Cord, Nick Ialongo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the relation between type of parent-child interaction task and parenting behaviors among a predominantly African American community-based sample. Twenty-five anxious and matched nonanxious (N = 50) mothers were videotaped with their children (Mage = 5.8 years) engaging in both a structured and unstructured task. Blind raters coded 3 parent behaviors hypothesized to play a role in the development of child anxiety: overcontrol, anxious behavior, and criticism. Results indicated that higher levels of overcontrol, anxious behavior, and criticism were found in the structured compared to unstructured task. Levels of criticism, among anxious mothers only, were significantly correlated across tasks. Results suggest that situation specific aspects of parent-child interaction tasks may influence parenting behaviors. These findings help explain variations in observational research in the anxiety literature and highlight the need for careful selection of parent-child tasks in future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-328
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Observational measures of parenting in anxious and nonanxious mothers: Does type of task matter?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this