Date of Award

7-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the complex relationship between maternal anxiety, harsh parenting, and childhood behavioral problems in a sample of at-risk parents. The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, which provided longitudinal data from a large and diverse population of families and their newborn children, was utilized to examine the intervening variables that might affect the relations between anxiety and child behavior problems. The results of this study indicated that harsh parenting served as a partial mediator of the relations between anxiety and subsequent behavior problems. Maternal family mental health history, presence or absence of the child's birth father, and child gender on the pattern of relations were examined as moderators of the relation between maternal anxiety and child behavioral outcomes but the analyses failed to support the proposed moderating relations. The implications for considering the effects of maternal anxiety on child behavior problems within a stress-processing model are discussed.

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