Maternal control behavior and locus of control: Examining mechanisms in the relation between maternal anxiety disorders and anxiety symptomatology in children

Kimberly D. Becker, Golda S. Ginsburg, Janine Domingues, Jenn-Yun Tein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations


This study tested components of a proposed model of child anxiety and examined the mediational roles of (1) maternal control behavior, (2) maternal external locus of control, and (3) child external locus of control in the association between maternal and child anxiety. Thirtyeight clinically anxious mothers and 37 nonanxious mothers participated along with one of their children aged 6 to 14 (52.0% female; 78.7% Caucasian). Path analysis indicated that the overall model fit the data very well. Analyses also indicated that child external locus of control mediated the associations between (1) maternal and child anxiety and (2) maternal control behavior and child anxiety. Maternal anxiety was not related to maternal control behavior and maternal external locus of control was not associated with child anxiety. Findings are discussed in the context of theoretical models (e.g., Chorpita and Barlow 1998) regarding the transmission of maternal anxiety to their children and the specific roles of maternal behavior and child locus of control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-543
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2010



  • Anxiety
  • Control
  • Locus of control
  • Parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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