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J Anxiety Disord. 2008 May;22(4):722-33. Epub 2007 Jul 27.

The relationship between parenting factors and trait anxiety: mediating role of cognitive errors and metacognition.

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  • 1University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.


Research examining parenting factors in the development of anxiety has focused largely on the concepts of parental warmth and overcontrolling or intrusive parenting, This study investigated the relationship between these factors, and also parental discipline style and anxiety using self-report methodology with a sample of 16-18 year olds. In order to try to explain the relationship between parenting and anxiety, measures of cognition were also included. A multiple regression was conducted including all parenting factors as predictors of trait anxiety. The regression was a modest fit (R(2)=22%) and the model was significant (F(4, 141)=9.90, p<0.0001). Only the effect of Over-reactivity was significant, (t=3.72, p<0.0001). Furthermore, Over-reactive discipline was significantly associated with increased cognitive distortions (r=0.361 p<0.0001) and metacognition (r=0.396 p<0.0001). Both cognitive distortions and metacognition were found to partially mediate the relationship between discipline style and trait anxiety. The implications of these findings and areas for future research are discussed.

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