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02-06-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2016

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2016

The Relation Between Fears and Anxiety in Children with Specific Phobia and Parental Fears and Anxiety

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2016
Auteurs:
Lisa Clefberg Liberman, Lars-Göran Öst

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to investigate if fearfulness and anxiety in children with a specific phobia are related to parental fearfulness and anxiety. Sixty-five 7–18 year-old children that were included in a treatment study completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAIC), and the revised version of the Fear Survey Schedule for Children (FSSC-R). The parents of the children answered the adult versions of STAI and FSS; rated to what extent they generally expressed fears in the presence of their children, and answered whether they suffered from any emotional or mental disorders. Analyses showed that there were no correlations between parental fearfulness or anxiety and fearfulness or anxiety in the children, or between parents’ expressed fears and children’s reported fears. However, there was a positive correlation between mothers’ expressed fears and level of trait anxiety in the children. Moreover, age and trait anxiety of the children were significant predictors of their fearfulness. Regarding the question about parental emotional or mental disorder, 54 % of the children had at least one parent suffering from an emotional or mental disorder. In 46 % a parent had an anxiety disorder, and in 32 % this was a specific phobia.

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