Family functioning and anxiety in school age children: The mediating role of control cognitions
As a test of the cognitive vulnerability model proposed by Chorpita and Barlow, the present study examined the mediating role of control beliefs on the relationship between family functioning and childhood anxiety. The sample was composed of 147 children aged 7-14 years old. Participant's anxiety levels, family functioning, and perceived control over events was hypothesized to mediate over outcomes in the environment and over their feelings of anxiety, were assessed. Partial support was obtained for Chorpita and Barlow's cognitive vulnerability model of anxiety. As predicted, findings demonstrated that an external locus of control and low perceived control over potentially threatening events was related to higher levels of anxiety. Findings also demonstrated that dysfunctional parenting was related to higher anxiety in children. Further, children from dysfunctional families exhibited a lower external locus of control and having an external locus of control mediated the relationship between dysfunctional family experiences and anxiety symptoms. This study is consistent with the existing literature that suggests that the relationship between family functioning and anxiety is mediated by a child's control beliefs. © 2010 International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy.
McGinn, LK; Jerome, Y; Nooner, KB
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