Is adolescent Generalized Anxiety Disorder a magnet for negative parental interpersonal behaviors?

W.W. Hale III, T.A. Klimstra, S.T.J. Branje, S.A.M. Wijsbroek, W.H.J. Meeus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have found that perceived parental interpersonal interaction behaviors, such as rejection, overcontrol, and negative attachment behaviors, increase adolescent generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms. However, most of these studies have been cross-sectional, as opposed to longitudinal, and have examined these perceived parental interaction behaviors individually. Hence, the goal of this longitudinal study is to examine these perceived parental behaviors and adolescent GAD symptoms together, in one model, to examine the unique effects each has on one another.
Participants were 923 adolescents from the general community. The adolescent population was comprised of both boys (50.7%) and girls (49.3%) with an average age of 12 at the first measurement. In a prospective, 5-year longitudinal design, the adolescents completed questionnaires of parental interaction behaviors and adolescent GAD symptoms on the first, third, and fifth years of the study.
Structural equation modeling cross-lagged panel model analyses were conducted to examine the effects perceived parental interaction behaviors and adolescent GAD have on one another. It was found that adolescent GAD consistently predicted parental interpersonal interaction behaviors longitudinally.
It is suggested that adolescent GAD influences the perception of parental interpersonal behaviors. And the influence adolescent GAD may have on these perceived parental interpersonal behaviors is to create an environment in which the parents are perceived to begin to disengage in their interactions with their adolescent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-856
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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