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01-03-2016 | Original Paper | Uitgave 7/2016

Journal of Child and Family Studies 7/2016

Perceived Parenting Styles and Cultural Influences in Adolescent’s Anxiety: A Cross-Cultural Comparison

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 7/2016
Seyed Ebrahim Mousavi, Wah Yun Low, Aili Hanim Hashim


A growing body of literature links particular parenting practices with negative child outcomes including greater anxiety symptoms among western societies. However, the effects of cultural differences on such linkages have not been adequately addressed in the anxiety literature. This study therefore aimed to examine the relationship between perceived parenting style and anxiety among Malay, Chinese, Indian, Arab and European/American (Caucasian) origins adolescents and the possible cultural group influences on this relationship was studied. Using multiple cluster sampling, a total of 227 students (122 boys and 105 girls) aged 13–18 years was selected. They completed questionnaires measuring parental rearing behaviors (EMBU-C) and anxiety symptoms scale (SCAS). Results indicated that in comparison to the European/American; Asian samples reported greater anxiety symptoms on all subscales of anxiety. Parental rejection, anxious rearing and control/over protection were correlated to higher anxiety independent of cultural group but these associations were stronger for Caucasians. Parenting styles as predictor of anxiety were found to be cross culturally different. Although European/American adolescents rated their parents as least over controlling, it was significant predictor of anxiety. This study provides evidence for the notion that relationship between parenting factors and anxiety were different across cultural contexts.

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