Parental anxiety and child symptomatology: An examinzation of additive and interactive effects of parent psychopathology

Marcy Burstein, Golda S. Ginsburg, Jenn-Yun Tein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations


The current study examined relations between parent anxiety and child anxiety, depression, and externalizing symptoms. In addition, the study tested the additive and interactive effects of parent anxiety with parent depression and externalizing symptoms in relation to child symptoms. Forty-eight parents with anxiety disorders and 49 parents without any psychiatric disorder participated with one of their children (ages 6 to 14 years; 46.4% male; 75.8% Caucasian). Parent anxiety was related to both child anxiety and depression, but not child externalizing symptoms. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that only parent externalizing symptoms had additive effects, beyond parent anxiety symptoms, in relation to child anxiety symptoms. Further, parent anxiety symptoms moderated the relationship between parent and child externalizing symptoms, such that the strength of this relationship was reduced in the presence of high levels of parent anxiety symptoms. Results of this study illuminate the role of parent comorbidity in understanding relations between parent and child symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)897-909
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2010



  • Child anxiety
  • Child depression
  • Child externalizing
  • Parent psychopathology symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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