- Rearing histories of individuals with and without social anxiety who become first time parents.
- Anxiety, Stress and Coping
- Volume | Issue number
- 23 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
The effect of rearing history on future parents' social anxiety was studied by means of retrospective reports. The research sample consisted of 121 couples who were expecting their first child. Social anxiety was assessed both as a continuous trait using the Short Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory, and as a disorder using the Anxiety Disorder Interview Schedule. Men and women rated their father's and mother's encouragement of autonomy (versus overprotection) and acceptance (versus rejection) on the Mother-Father-Peer Inventory. Analyses taking into account within-couple dependency indicated that there were no differences between men and women in the relation between rearing history and social anxiety. Results showed that participants who rated their mother higher on rejection, and those rating their father higher on overprotection, scored higher on self-reported social anxiety. Perceived lower encouragement of autonomy by mothers predicted social anxiety disorder (SAD) but not other non-social anxiety disorders, whereas perceived lower encouragement of autonomy by fathers predicted other anxiety disorders, but not SAD. It is concluded that mothers and fathers may play different roles in the etiology of anxiety.
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