Childhood Anxiety/Withdrawal, Adolescent Parent–Child Attachment and Later Risk of Depression and Anxiety Disorder
- 2.5k Downloads
Previous research has shown that children with high levels of early anxiety/withdrawal are at increased risk of later anxiety and depression. It has also been found that positive parent–child attachment reduces the risk of these disorders. The aim of this paper was to examine the extent to which positive parent–child attachment acted to mitigate the risk of later internalising disorders amongst children with high levels of early anxiety/withdrawal using data from a 30 years longitudinal study of a New Zealand birth cohort. The findings of this study showed that: (a) increasing rates of early anxiety/withdrawal were associated with an increased risk of later anxiety and depression; (b) positive parent–child attachment in adolescence was associated with a decline in the risk of later anxiety and depression; and (c) these associations persisted even after controlling for confounding factors. The implications of these findings for the role of parent–child attachment in mitigating the adverse effects of early anxiety/withdrawal are discussed. It is concluded that positive parent–child attachment in adolescence may act as a compensatory factor which buffers the adverse effects of childhood anxiety/withdrawal on risks of developing later anxiety and depression.
KeywordsEarly anxiety/withdrawal Parent–child attachment Protection Risk Depression Anxiety disorder
This research was funded by grants from the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the National Child Health Research Foundation, the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation and the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board.
- Barlow, D. H. (2002). Anxiety and its disorders: The nature and treatment of anxiety and panic. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- DeKlyen, M., & Greenberg, M. (2008). Attachment and psychopathology in childhood. Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications, 637–665.Google Scholar
- Diamond, G. U. Y., & Siqueland, L. (1995). Family therapy for the treatment of depressed adolescents. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training Special Issue Adolescent Treatment: New Frontiers and New Dimension Spring, 32(1), 77–90.Google Scholar
- Fergusson, D. M., Poulton, R., Horwood, L. J., Milne, B., & Swain-Campbell, N. (2004). Comorbidity and coincidence in the Christchurch and Dunedin longitudinal studies. Report prepared for the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development, and Ministry of Education and the Treasury. New Zealand.Google Scholar
- Greenberg, L., & Johnson, S. (1988). Emotionally focused therapy for couples. NY: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- HO, W. (1993). Composite international diagnostic interview (CIDI). Geneva: World Health Organisation.Google Scholar
- Muris, P. (2007). Normal and abnormal fear and anxiety in children and adolescents. Oxford: Elsevier.Google Scholar
- Quay, H. C. (1986). Classification. In H. C. Quay & J. S. Werry (Eds.), Psychopathological disorders of childhood (3rd ed., pp. 1–34). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Roza, S., Hofstra, M., van der Ende, J., & Verhulst, F. (2003). Stable prediction of mood and anxiety disorders based on behavioral and emotional problems in childhood: A 14-year follow-up during childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160(12), 2116.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rutter, M., Tizard, J., & Whitmore, K. (1970). Education, health and behaviour. London: Longman Publishing Group.Google Scholar
- Wechsler, D. (1974). Manual-Wechsler intelligence scale for children (Revised). New York: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar