Do Mother’s Metacognitions, Beliefs, and Behaviors Predict Child Anxiety-Related Metacognitions?

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Background: Recent research suggests that adults and children with anxiety disorders have a particular set of metacognitive beliefs and strategies. Knowing whether parents’ metacognitions, beliefs and behaviors are associated with their children’s metacognitions is important for understanding how anxiety-related metacognitions and clinical anxiety develop. Objective: We hypothesized that there are positive relationships between mother and corresponding child anxiety-related metacognitions even after controlling for maternal depression, anxiety and stress symptoms. We also hypothesized that maternal beliefs about child anxiety and maternal controlling behavior would be positively related to child metacognitions and would account for any associations between mother and child metacognitions. Methods: The study employed a cross-sectional design in a community sample of 7–12 year old children and their mothers. Mothers and children completed questionnaires to assess anxiety-related metacognitions and an interaction task to assess mothers’ overinvolvement. Mothers also completed questionnaires regarding their beliefs about child anxiety and controlling rearing behavior. We examined correlations between variables before investigating which maternal variables made unique contributions to the variation in children’s metacognitions in a series of multiple regressions and mediation analyses. Results: Mothers’ positive worry beliefs and cognitive confidence contributed a modest amount of unique variance in the corresponding beliefs in children. Mothers’ and children’s metacognitions were positively associated. Conclusions: The unique contributions of mothers’ anxiety-related metacognitions on children’s anxiety-related metacognitions found in our study indicate that a metacognitive-parental intervention for preventing and treating child anxiety is worth investigation. Our findings place anxious metacognitions in a developmental context.

TidsskriftChild and Youth Care Forum
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)577-599
Antal sider23
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2017

ID: 196135667