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01-04-2012 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2012 Open Access

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2012

Unique Roles of Mothering and Fathering in Child Anxiety; Moderation by Child’s Age and Gender

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2012
Auteurs:
Marjolein Verhoeven, Susan M. Bögels, Corine C. van der Bruggen

Abstract

We examined the associations between the parenting dimensions autonomy granting, over control, and rejection and children’s anxiety, in relation to parent and child gender and child age. Elementary school-aged children (n = 179, M age = 10.27, SD = 1.30), adolescents (n = 127, M age = 15.02, SD = 1.54) and both their parents completed questionnaires on parenting and children’s anxiety. Parenting was more strongly related to child anxiety in elementary school children than in adolescents. Maternal over control was uniquely related to elementary school-aged children’s anxiety whereas paternal over control was more important during adolescence. Opposite to our expectations, we found higher levels of parental autonomy granting to be related to higher levels of anxiety for younger elementary school-aged children (age < 10). For adolescents, the association between paternal over control and anxiety was stronger for older adolescents (age > 15), with higher levels of over control related to higher levels of anxiety. For both elementary school-aged children and adolescents, the associations between parenting and child anxiety did not differ as a function of the child’s gender. If we are to understand the associations between parenting and children’s anxiety, it is important to distinguish parental autonomy granting from parental over control and to consider the role of parent gender and the age of the child.

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