Parenting behaviors among anxious and non-anxious mothers: Relation with concurrent and long-term child outcomes

Golda S. Ginsburg, Rachel L. Grover, Nick Ialongo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


The present study addressed two specific questions: (1) Are there differences in parenting behaviors between anxious and non-anxious mothers? and (2) Are parenting behaviors within these two groups associated with adverse outcomes in children (i.e., internalizing and externalizing symptoms)? The above questions were examined concurrently (when children were in first grade) and at a six-year follow-up among a predominately African American community-based high-risk sample. Twenty-five anxious and matched non-anxious (N = 50) mothers were videotaped with their children (mean age 5.8 years) engaging in a challenging task. Blind raters coded parent behaviors. Parents and children completed measures of anxiety and/or externalizing symptoms at both time points. Contrary to expectations, results indicated no group differences in parenting behaviors in the first grade and no relation between parenting behaviors and concurrent levels of anxiety or externalizing symptoms. At the six-year follow-up, however, higher levels of criticism and lower levels of granting of autonomy were significantly related to higher anxiety (but not externalizing) symptoms in children of anxious parents. Findings are discussed in the context of existing developmental models of childhood anxiety and suggest that the interaction of parental anxiety and parenting behavior may increase children's risk for anxiety disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-41
Number of pages19
JournalChild and Family Behavior Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004


  • African American parenting behaviors among anxious and non-anxious mothers
  • Child anxiety
  • Parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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