Relations of Anxiety Sensitivity, Control Beliefs, and Maternal Over-Control to Fears in Clinic-Referred Children with Specific Phobia

Elisabeth J. Kane, Kara Braunstein, Thomas H. Ollendick*, Peter Muris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The relations of fear to anxiety sensitivity, control beliefs, and maternal overprotection were examined in 126 7-13-year-old clinically referred children with specific phobias. Results indicated that anxiety sensitivity and control beliefs were significant predictors of children's fear levels, accounting for approximately 48 % of the total variance. Unexpectedly, age, gender, and maternal overprotection did not emerge as significant predictors of fear in the overall sample. In subsequent analyses, anxiety sensitivity was found to be a consistent, significant predictor for both girls and boys, for both younger and older children, and for children with and without an additional anxiety disorder diagnosis. Control beliefs were only a significant predictor for girls, younger children, and children with an additional anxiety diagnosis. Maternal overprotection was not a significant predictor for any group. Children with an additional anxiety disorder diagnosis had higher levels of fear, anxiety sensitivity, and maternal overprotection, as well as lower levels of control beliefs than the non-additional anxiety disorder subgroup. Future directions and clinical implications are explored.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2127-2134
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


  • Children
  • Adolescents
  • Fear
  • Specific phobias
  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Control beliefs

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