Childhood Anxiety/Withdrawal, Adolescent Parent-Child Attachment and Later Risk of Depression and Anxiety Disorder
Jakobsen, Ida Skytte; Horwood, L John; Fergusson, David M
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.
Publisher: Springer Nature
Rights Statement: This version in OUR Archive is the author's manuscript accepted for publication after peer-review. The published version is: Jakobsen, I. S., Horwood, L. J., & Fergusson, D. M. (2012). Childhood anxiety/withdrawal, adolescent parent-child attachment and later risk of depression and anxiety disorder. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 21(2), 303-310. doi: 10.1007/s10826-011-9476-x
Keywords: Family Studies; Psychology; Psychiatry
Research Type: Journal Article