The Relationship Between Different Parenting Typologies in Fathers and Mothers and Children's Anxiety

Ana Beato*, Ana Isabel Pereira, Luisa Barros, Peter Muris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Research on the role of parental rearing behaviors in the development of children's anxiety problems has predominantly adopted a dimensional approach studying the effects of isolated parenting behaviors such as overprotection and rejection, while mainly focusing on the mother. Our study was set up to identify parenting typologies of both mothers and fathers, and to explore their relationship with children's anxiety symptoms. Three-hundred-and-ninety non-clinical Portuguese children aged 8-12 years completed a self-report questionnaire on anxiety disorder symptoms, while their fathers (27-64 years of age) and mothers (24-65 years of age) filled in two scales on parental rearing behaviors as well as an index of parental anxiety. Cluster analysis revealed three parenting typologies that were similar for mothers and fathers, and were labeled as overinvolved, disengaged, and supportive parenting. Only the disengaged typology of mothers was associated with higher levels of anxiety symptoms on children. Disengaged parents and Overinvolved fathers were associated with higher levels of parental anxiety whereas overinvolved parents evidenced more anxiety/worry about the child. These results suggest that the study of parenting typologies, contextualized within a cultural background, are an invaluable approach because it can be used to explore the effects that different combinations of various parenting behaviors may have on childhood anxiety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1691-1701
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Children anxiety
  • Parental anxiety
  • Parenting styles
  • Father-child relationship
  • Maternal disengagement

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