Category: Child / Adolescent - Anxiety
Parental support and talking about problems have generally been considered to have positive effects on children’s mental health. However, some evidence indicates that excessively discussing problems or co-ruminating has risks associated with it (Calmes & Roberts, 2008). Specifically, research indicates that mother-child co-rumination can influence the development of anxiety symptoms in children (Waller & Rose, 2009). There is a lack of research on what influences parent-child co-rumination. Evidence suggests that a risk factor for co-rumination could be parenting style (Fiore, 2015). A parental factor associated with anxiety in children is parental overprotection (McLeod, Wood & Weisz, 2007). Parents who are overprotective are more likely to talk with their children about safety and about the possibility of problems arising (Ballash et al., 2006). However, research on the role of parental overprotection in the relationship of parent-child co-rumination and anxiety has not been conducted to date. Thus, the present study will investigate whether parental overprotection acts as a moderator in the relationship between parent-child co-rumination and child anxiety.
Fifty-one parents of Hispanic children and adolescents aged 5-17 completed the a shortened version of the Co-rumination Questionnaire, the Parent Protection Scale, and the Revised Children’s Anxiety and Depression Scale to assess for parent-child co-rumination, parental overprotection, and child anxiety.
A moderation analysis was conducted in PROCESS (Hayes, 2012) to test the hypothesis that the association between parent-child co-rumination and child anxiety will be exacerbated by parental overprotection. The predictor was co-rumination, the dependent variable was child anxiety, and the moderator was parental overprotection. Results indicated that the overall model was significant (R = .46, R2 = .21, p < .05). Moreover, parental overprotection exacerbated the association between co-rumination and child anxiety (β = .55, SE = .24, p = .03).
The current study indicates that parent-child co-rumination and parental overprotection are important constructs to study in Hispanic families, particularly in relation to anxiety. Specifically, the findings suggest that parents who co-ruminate and are overprotective increase the likelihood of their children’s anxiety symptoms. The overprotective parenting style strengthen the relationship between co-rumination and anxiety. Clinical implications of these findings suggest that interventions should teach Hispanic parents more adaptive ways to be supportive of their children, providing more independence and opportunities to solve their own problems, rather than overprotecting them and rehashing of the problems.