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Title: Parenting behaviours, interpretational biases and social anxiety in adolescents
Author: Reid, Katie
ISNI:       0000 0001 3513 0436
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2008
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The aim of the current study was to examine cognitive and parenting factors involved in the development and maintenance of social anxiety in adolescents. Cognitive factors comprised interpretational biases of ambiguous social situations and mildly social scenarios. Interpretative biases are assumed to play a major role in maintaining social anxiety. Socially anxious adults interpret ambiguous social events negatively and interpret negative social events in a catastrophic fashion. However, there is little research to support the extension of this theory to adolescents. Parenting factors comprised parenting rearing styles examining dimensions of over-protection, emotional warmth and rejection and parental discipline styles examining dimensions of verbosity, laxity and overreactivity. Past research has indicated a link between child anxiety and parental styles that are characterised by control and rejection, however, these studies have largely been retrospective and few have specifically examined social anxiety. The current study was a prospective crosssectional study with a sample of 78 adolescent pupils aged 12-14years. The relationships between cognitive factors and· parenting factors in relation to social anxiety were examined individually. The planned mediation analysis regarding the role of cognitive factors in the relationship between parenting factors and social anxiety in adolescents was not undertaken due to limited significant associations between the variables. Although only a trend was found suggesting that social anxiety in adolescents was associated with a tendency to generate negative interpretations of ambiguous social situations, a strong association was found between social anxiety and a tendency to endorse catastrophic responses to mildly negative social events. The results provided provisional support for the applicability of adult cognitive theories of social anxiety to adolescents. Social anxiety was associated with negative parental rearing styles and with negative discipline styles overall. It was found to be specifically linked with a rejecting parenting style. Support for associations between parenting and cognitive factors was not found, except for a relationship between the dimension verbosity and self-responsibility for negative social situations, such that children who rated high levels of verbosity in their parents showed a tendency to indicate that they would feel responsible for mildly negative social situations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available