INTERGENERATIONAL TRANSMISSION OF ANXIETY: EVIDENCE FOR THE MEDIATING ROLE OF THE NEGATIVE INTERPRETATION BIAS
Ioana R. PODINA, Cristina MOGOASE*, Anca DOBREAN
Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
The intergenerational transmission of anxiety is thought to be a main contributor to the high prevalence of anxiety disorder in both children and adults. Cognitive factors are assumed to play a key role in the intergenerational transmission of anxiety, but it is not fully clear how they act. This study was aimed to investigate maternal and children negative interpretation biases as mediators between maternal social anxiety and anxious symptoms in children. We used a cross-sectional design. Four hundred and twenty-three mothers (M age = 39.46, SD = 6.58) and their children (M age = 11.69, SD = 3.63; 54.1% girls) were recruited. Multiple mediation analysis showed that both maternal and children negative interpretation biases acted as significant mediators between maternal social anxiety and children’s anxious symptoms, indirect effect = 0.008, SE = 0.004, 95% CI = [0.002; 0.021]. Results highlight the complexity of the relationship between distal and proximal cognitive factors involved in generating child anxiety and point to the importance of addressing both maternal and child cognitive distortions when addressing child anxiety in a clinical context.
Keywords: intergenerational transmission of anxiety, negative interpretation bias