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The present study investigated the relationship between parental rough-and-tumble (R&T) play and young children’s anxiety symptoms. Parents of 105 non-clinical children (61 boys and 44 girls aged between 2 and 6 years) completed indices of childhood anxiety symptoms and parental trait anxiety and overprotection, as well as the Parental Play and Care Questionnaire, which was developed for the purpose of this study to assess parental R&T play and care activities. Results showed that fathers exhibited more R&T play towards their offspring, while mothers more often engaged in care activities. As predicted, trait anxiety and overprotection of mothers were positively related to child anxiety symptoms. No support was found for the idea that parental R&T play would be negatively related to childhood anxiety. However, an interaction effect of fathers’ trait anxiety and R&T play on anxiety symptoms of the child was found: children tended to display higher levels of anxiety symptoms when their low trait anxious fathers were more involved in R&T play. The results provide support for the notion that mothers and fathers have unique parenting roles, which may have a differential impact on the development of anxiety symptoms in children.
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- Rough-and-Tumble Play and Other Parental Factors as Correlates of Anxiety Symptoms in Preschool Children
- Springer US