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ERIC Number: EJ835551
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
ISSN: ISSN-0731-7107
Maternal Sensitivity and Anxiety: Impacts on Child Outcome
Kertz, Sarah J.; Smith, Carrie L.; Chapman, L. Kevin; Woodruff-Borden, Janet
Child & Family Behavior Therapy, v30 n2 p153-171 Jun 2008
Children of anxious parents have been shown to be at an increased risk of developing an anxiety disorder. Thus, it is critically important to identify factors that increase or decrease that risk. The depression literature has shown that maternal sensitivity decreases negative child outcome associated with maternal depression. The current study was designed to determine whether maternal sensitivity may buffer children of anxious mothers in a similar way. Three hypotheses were tested. First, that anxious mothers would display less sensitivity than nonanxious mothers in interactions with their children; that there would be an interaction between sensitivity and anxiety on child outcome; and that sensitivity would account for variance in child outcome beyond that attributed to anxiety. One hundred and twenty-five mothers (75 anxious) and their children (ages 3-12) completed the study. Mothers were administered the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule-IV and Parent, and a subset also completed the Beck Anxiety Inventory. Children completed the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule-Child. Dyads also engaged in two interaction tasks (one cognitive, one social) which were coded for maternal sensitivity and three child outcome behaviors. Results showed that anxious mothers displayed less sensitivity in the social task but not in the cognitive task. An interaction between anxiety and sensitivity was found only when predicting child negativity in the social task. Finally, maternal sensitivity was found to account for variance in child outcome beyond that of anxiety. Implications and directions for future research are discussed. (Contains 4 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Beck Anxiety Inventory