Parents’ Behaviour

The parent-child relationship may be a primarily important context for the development and health of children. Parents are thought to participate in behaviours that influence children’s social and emotional regulation skills, self-efficacy, self-determination, and mastery, which in turn may contribute to children’s SAD. Morris and Oosterhoff (2016) conducted a subjective study based on an observation of different families with different educational levels to identify the relationship between parents’ behavior and children’s Social Anxiety. Morris and Oosterhoff stated two main purposes for their study. The first aim was to comprehensively examine whether specific types of mothers’ and fathers’ rejecting or controlling behavior were associated with child social anxiety. The second aim was to explore whether the association among observed mothers’ and fathers’ rejecting and controlling behaviors and children’s Social Anxiety varied by the gender of the child.

Examining specific parenting behaviors that are linked with children’s internalizing symptoms may help parents further elucidate how parent-child interactions contribute to the development of child anxiety and depression. The article by Morris and Oosterhoff hypothesized that mothers’ and fathers’ specific parenting behaviors are associated with children’s Social Anxiety. Parenting styles are thought to play an important role in the development of important life skills and competencies necessary for healthy emotional adjustment and wellbeing throughout one’s life. Morris and Oosterhoff used semi-structured interviews and observed parent-child interaction tasks. This method allowed Morris and Oosterhoff to observe a diverse range of behaviors, including the possibility for supportive or critical communication between family members. The participants were a sample of 90 children who had two-parent’s family and whose fathers and mothers were biological parents. The study of Morris and Oosterhoff illustrated that mothers’ and fathers’ verbal and nonverbal control and rejection behaviors were associated with child anxiety, and these associations differed between the boys and girls. Mothers’ and fathers’ behaviors, such as rejection and control played an important role in children’s social anxiety. Identifying parents’ behavior as a risk factor for SAD in children is an opportunity to support children with SAD with effective interventions and training for both parents and children. Parents’ rejection or controlling behaviors play different roles in various family environments. As anxiety and depression are among the most common forms of psychopathology and might have developmental roots in late childhood, the findings from Morris and Oosterhoff’s article suggested that specific mothers’ and fathers’ parenting behaviors are associated with children’s social anxiety.

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