Family and Parent Predictors of Anxiety Disorder Onset in Offspring of Anxious Parents

Golda S. Ginsburg, Jessica L. Schleider, Jenn-Yun Tein, Kelly L. Drake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Offspring of anxious parents are at increased risk for developing anxiety disorders. There is a need to identify which youth are at greatest risk for disorder onset in this population. Objective: This study prospectively examined several theory-based family and parent characteristics (e.g., family conflict, parental over-control, parental psychopathology) as predictors of anxiety disorder onset in children whose parents were clinically anxious. Methods: Families were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial evaluating a family-based preventative intervention, relative to an information monitoring control condition, for offspring of anxious parents (N = 136; child mean age 8.69 years; 55% female; 85% Caucasian). Family and parent measures were collected using multiple informants and an observational task at baseline, post-intervention, and at a 6 and 12 month follow-up. Child anxiety disorder diagnosis was determined by independent evaluators using the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children. Results: Results indicated that none of the baseline family or parent variables examined predicted the onset of an anxiety disorder in children over the 1 year follow-up period. Conclusions: Findings raise questions about the short-term risk associated with family and parent factors in anxiety disorder development in this high risk population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-376
Number of pages14
JournalChild and Youth Care Forum
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Child anxiety
  • Family factors
  • Parental anxiety
  • Parenting
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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