Familial influences of anxiety in youngsters

Diane Wadiak Backus, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


This study sought to determine the degree to which various family factors correlate with child anxiety. Fifty-nine subjects, aged 12 through 18, completed the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale. Parents of these children completed the Family Environment Scale, the Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Test, and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Adults. Results indicated that maternal level of anxiety was the only familial factor that was significantly correlated with child anxiety. There was a non-significant but noteworthy negative correlation between child anxiety and the "independence" subscale of the Family Environment Scale. Based on these findings, recommendations for prevention, assessment, and treatment are made. Limitations of this study and suggestions for future research are outlined.