Worry in Children is Related to Perceived Parental Rearing and Attachment

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Abstract

In a sample of 159 primary school children, the relationship between perceived parental rearing behaviours and self-reported attachment style, on the one hand, and worry, on the other hand, was investigated. Children completed (a) the EMBU, a questionnaire measuring perceptions of parental rearing behaviours, (b) a single-item measure of attachment style, and (c) the Penn State Worry Questionnaire for Children (PSWQ-C), an index of severity of worrying. Results showed that parental rearing behaviours, in particular rejection and anxious rearing, were positively associated with worry. Thus, children who perceived their parents as more rejective and anxious reported higher levels of worry. Furthermore, self-reported attachment style appeared to be related to worry. More specifically, children who classified themselves as avoidantly or ambivalently attached displayed higher levels of worry than did children who classified themselves as securely attached. These findings are consistent with the notion that family environment factors such as parental rearing and attachment style contribute to the severity of anxiety symptoms in children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-497
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Volume38
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000

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