A cognitive-mediated model of child social anxiety and depression: examining children's relationships with parents and teachers.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jamie Olson Workman (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Wesley D. Allan

Abstract: Social relationships are posited to contribute to child social anxiety (e.g., Rapee & Spence, 2004) and depression (e.g., Kaufman, 1991). What social relationships are important and in what ways do they affect specific child outcomes? Research suggests that parents and teachers influence children in many ways, but the specific relations of parental behaviors and teacher-child relationships to child social anxiety and depression have not been examined thoroughly. The current study, therefore, used structural equation modeling to test a cognitive-mediated model that investigates the contributions of parental warmth, parental control, and teacher-child relationships to both child social anxiety and depression. A multi-rater (parent, child, teacher) multi-method (interview, questionnaire, observation) design was used with 76 4th graders who are part of an ongoing longitudinal study (Gazelle, 2006). Participants also included each child’s teacher and parent. The final model included pathways indicating that maternal overcontrol directly predicts child social anxiety, and maternal rejection and the closeness of teacher-child relationships directly predict child depression. In contrast, the associations of maternal rejection and teacher-child closeness to child social anxiety were mediated by children’s interpretations. This overall model demonstrates good fit to the data. These results support the “affectionless control theory” (Parker, 1984) and suggest that maternal overcontrol and rejection are both related to child social anxiety. These results also add greatly to the literature by suggesting that teacher-child relationships are important for children’s internalizing disorders even when including parental relationships in the model, and this association may be similar to the relationships between child internalizing and parental behaviors. Overall, this model represents an extension of the literature on parental behaviors and a novel contribution to our understanding of teacher-child relationships.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2009
Child depression, Child social anxiety, Parental behaviors, Teacher-child relationships
Depression in children $x Risk factors.
Social phobia in children $x Risk factors.
Parent and child $x Psychological aspects.
Teacher-student relationships $x Psychological aspects.

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