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Keywords:

  • adolescent;
  • attachment;
  • generalized anxiety disorder;
  • overcontrol;
  • parents;
  • parental behaviors;
  • rejection;
  • worry

Background

Previous studies have found that perceived parental interpersonal interaction behaviors, such as rejection, overcontrol, and negative attachment behaviors, increase adolescent generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms. However, most of these studies have been cross-sectional, as opposed to longitudinal, and have examined these perceived parental interaction behaviors individually. Hence, the goal of this longitudinal study is to examine these perceived parental behaviors and adolescent GAD symptoms together, in one model, to examine the unique effects each has on one another.

Methods

Participants were 923 adolescents from the general community. The adolescent population was comprised of both boys (50.7%) and girls (49.3%) with an average age of 12 at the first measurement. In a prospective, 5-year longitudinal design, the adolescents completed questionnaires of parental interaction behaviors and adolescent GAD symptoms on the first, third, and fifth years of the study.

Results

Structural equation modeling cross-lagged panel model analyses were conducted to examine the effects perceived parental interaction behaviors and adolescent GAD have on one another. It was found that adolescent GAD consistently predicted parental interpersonal interaction behaviors longitudinally.

Conclusions

It is suggested that adolescent GAD influences the perception of parental interpersonal behaviors. And the influence adolescent GAD may have on these perceived parental interpersonal behaviors is to create an environment in which the parents are perceived to begin to disengage in their interactions with their adolescent.