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Open Access 09-05-2024 | Anxiety | Original Article

Intergenerational Transmission of Social Anxiety: The Role of Parents’ Fear of Negative Child Evaluation and Their Self-Referent and Child-Referent Interpretation Biases

Authors: Melis Dülger, Bram Van Bockstaele, Mirjana Majdandžić, Wieke de Vente

Published in: Cognitive Therapy and Research

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Abstract

Purpose

Parents’ fear of negative evaluation (FNE), fear of negative child evaluation (FNCE; parents’ fear that their child is evaluated negatively by others), and self- and child-referent negative interpretation biases have been proposed to play a role in the intergenerational transmission of social anxiety. In this cross-sectional study, we tested whether parents’ self-reported FNE and self-referent interpretation bias, as well as their FNCE and child-referent interpretation bias, statistically mediated the relationship between parent social anxiety and parent-reported child social anxiety.

Methods

A total of 179 parents of 13–16-year-old adolescents completed questionnaires concerning own social anxiety, their FNE, and FNCE and their child’s social anxiety. Parents’ self- and child-referent interpretation biases were measured using scenario completion and memory recognition tasks.

Results

Parents’ FNCE partially statistically mediated the relationship between parent and child social anxiety. Parents’ FNE and their self- and child-referent interpretation biases did, however, not statistically mediate this relationship.

Conclusions

Parents’ FNCE does, but their FNE and self- and child-referent interpretation biases do not seem to play a role in the intergenerational transmission of social anxiety. Hence, parents’ FNCE might be a promising target for clinical practice while designing therapies and interventions concerning child social anxiety.
Appendix
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Footnotes
1
Results based on the entire sample are provided in the online supplement. Results with and without multivariate outliers were largely similar.
 
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Metadata
Title
Intergenerational Transmission of Social Anxiety: The Role of Parents’ Fear of Negative Child Evaluation and Their Self-Referent and Child-Referent Interpretation Biases
Authors
Melis Dülger
Bram Van Bockstaele
Mirjana Majdandžić
Wieke de Vente
Publication date
09-05-2024
Publisher
Springer US
Keyword
Anxiety
Published in
Cognitive Therapy and Research
Print ISSN: 0147-5916
Electronic ISSN: 1573-2819
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-024-10490-0