Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Karen McCurdy

Abstract

The current study aimed to determine the relationship between two aspects of parenting styles, demandingness and responsiveness, and the presence of anxiety in children. Additionally, this research aimed to identify differences between mothers and fathers in regard to how these aspects of their parenting styles affect child anxiety. Demandingness and responsiveness were explored as independent variables in order to determine how they relate to child anxiety, as well as how the relationships between the independent variables and anxiety differ by demographics including child gender, and parental age, race, income, and educational level. Results indicate differences in child anxiety reported by fathers in regard to race and age. Specifically, being black and being a younger father served as predictors for child anxiety. Additionally, responsiveness varied in fathers by education level. Lastly, fathers showed a significant negative relationship between responsiveness and child anxiety indicating that more responsive fathers have children with lower anxiety. Mothers did not show any significant relationships in regard to child anxiety. However, results indicated a difference in responsiveness in regard to education levels. Specifically, results showed that mothers who had received Some High School Education or Less were less responsive. Analyses suggest the need for future research regarding the gaps in literature pertaining to mothers and parenting styles, as well as why demandingness and responsiveness characteristics differ by demographics, specifically in a large minority sample.

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