Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Rudasill, Kathy

Author's Keywords

Adolescent anxiety; Behavioral inhibition; Parental control


Anxiety in adolescence; Parent and teenager; Parenting


This dissertation examined the prediction of anxiety symptoms over time during developmentally significant periods - the transition to middle school (12 years old) and the transition to high school (15 years old). Specifically, relationships between child behavioral inhibition, paternal anxiety, maternal anxiety, and parental control and concurrent levels of adolescent anxiety at each time point were analyzed. Despite a strong research base supporting individual connections between child behavioral inhibition, levels of parental control, parental anxiety symptoms and adolescent anxiety, the joint longitudinal associations have received scant attention in the literature. The current study also compared two different models of adolescent anxiety, a mediated model of adolescent anxiety and a moderated model of adolescent anxiety, to determine which better fit the data. Data for the study was part of the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD), a study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Participants initially enrolled in the study were 1,364 children (659 girls and 705 boys) and their caregivers and were recruited from 10 different geographic locations in the United States. The current study demonstrated associations between child behavioral inhibition, paternal anxiety, maternal anxiety, parental control and adolescent anxiety and suggests that they predict adolescent anxiety at 15 years. This study also indicated that earlier levels of adolescent and parental anxiety predict later levels of adolescent and parental anxiety and that parental anxiety symptoms have implications for concurrent and future levels of adolescent anxiety. Further research concerning the risk and protective factors as they relate to the etiology of adolescent anxiety should be explored to positively guide therapeutic interventions and shape appropriate parental behaviors.