Background: Offspring of anxious parents are at increased risk for developing anxiety disorders. There is a need to identify which youth are at greatest risk for disorder onset in this population. Objective: This study prospectively examined several theory-based family and parent characteristics (e.g., family conflict, parental over-control, parental psychopathology) as predictors of anxiety disorder onset in children whose parents were clinically anxious. Methods: Families were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial evaluating a family-based preventative intervention, relative to an information monitoring control condition, for offspring of anxious parents (N = 136; child mean age 8.69 years; 55% female; 85% Caucasian). Family and parent measures were collected using multiple informants and an observational task at baseline, post-intervention, and at a 6 and 12 month follow-up. Child anxiety disorder diagnosis was determined by independent evaluators using the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children. Results: Results indicated that none of the baseline family or parent variables examined predicted the onset of an anxiety disorder in children over the 1 year follow-up period. Conclusions: Findings raise questions about the short-term risk associated with family and parent factors in anxiety disorder development in this high risk population.
- Child anxiety
- Family factors
- Parental anxiety
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Life-span and Life-course Studies