There has been limited research examining the additive and interactive effects of multiple factors on the development of anxiety symptoms and anxiety disorders in youths. This study was an attempt to examine the reciprocal connections among temperament, attachment, and rearing style, and their unique and interactive relations to anxiety symptoms. Six hundred forty-four non-clinical children aged 11-15 years (mean age = 12.7 years) completed questionnaires measuring behavioral inhibition, attachment, parental rearing behavior, and anxiety symptoms. Results indicated that there were small to moderate positive correlations among various risk factors. Furthermore, modest but significant positive correlations were found between behavioral inhibition, attachment quality, and anxious and controlling rearing behaviors on the one hand, and anxiety scores on the other hand. That is, higher levels of behavioral inhibition, insecure attachment, and parental control and anxious rearing were associated with higher levels of anxiety symptoms. Finally, behavioral inhibition, attachment quality, parental control and anxious rearing each accounted for a small but unique proportion of the variance of anxiety disorders symptomatology. Little support was found for interactive effects of these vulnerability factors on childhood anxiety.

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Journal of Child and Family Studies
Department of Psychology

van Brakel, A. M., Muris, P., Bögels, S., & Thomassen, C. (2006). A multifactorial model for the etiology of anxiety in non-clinical adolescents: Main and interactive effects of behavioral inhibition, attachment and parental rearing. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 15(5), 568–578. doi:10.1007/s10826-006-9061-x