Author(s): Schreier SS, Heinrichs N
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Abstract Parental anxiety has been linked to child anxiety in various studies. However, specific mechanisms responsible for this relationship in the context of child social anxiety are still largely unknown. A potential mediator between parental and child social anxiety may be parental fear of negative child evaluation (FNCE). To investigate this concept, we collected self-reported data from families with 9- to 16-year old children in a non-clinical sample (458 mother-child dyads and 336 father-child dyads). While both paternal and maternal FNCE predicted child social anxiety, only maternal FNCE mediated the association between maternal and child social anxiety. Maternal report of FNCE was also found to mediate the association between maternal social anxiety and general childhood emotional problems but not externalising problems. Overall, this study is the first to identify a mediator variable that may explain the association between mother and child social anxiety in school-age children. The results shed new light on the mechanisms by which fear and anxiety may be transmitted across generations. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Behav Res Ther
and referenced in International Journal of School and Cognitive Psychology