Ph.d.-forsvar

Sonja Breinholst defends her PhD thesis at the Department of Psychology

From 23. January 2017, 14:00
To 23. January 2017, 17:00

Sonja Breinholst forsvarer sin ph.d.-afhandling “Childhood Anxiety. Exploring the role of insecure attachment and negative parental behavior”.

Kandidat

Sonja Breinholst

Titel

“Childhood Anxiety. Exploring the role of insecure attachment and negative parental behavior”. Afhandlingen fremlægges til gennemsyn på Det Samfundsvidenskabelige Fakultetsbibliotek, Gothersgade 140, 1353 København K.

Tid og sted

Mandag den 23. januar 2017, kl. 14:00. Københavns Universitet, Det Samfundsvidenskabelige Fakultetsbibliotek, Gothersgade 140, Audit. 1, 1353 København K. Af hensyn til kandidaten lukkes dørene præcis.

Bedømmelsesudvalg
•Lektor Stig Poulsen, Institut for Psykologi, Københavns Universitet (formand)
•Professor, Kathryn Kerns, Kent State University, USA.
•Professor, Cathy Creswell, University of Reading, United Kingdom.

Resumé

The overall objective of the PhD study was to investigate insecure attachment and negative parental behavior as risk factors for the development and maintenance of childhood anxiety. It adds to the existing literature by examining additive and interactive effects of these factors on both anxiety symptoms and disorder, as well as studying attachment and anxiety within a case-control study. There were no difference in attachment classifications between clinically anxious and non-anxious children when investigated in a case-controlled design. Examining the direct and indirect effect of negative parental behavior and insecure parent-child attachment in a group of non-anxious children, we found maternal rejection and overprotection as well as insecure attachment to mother to be significant for anxiety symptoms, and furthermore that insecure attachment partially mediated the relation between anxiety symptoms and maternal psychological control and rejection. When replicating this study in clinically anxious children, different results were found: Only insecure attachment to fathers accounted for a significant proportion of the variance of anxiety, and fully mediated the relationship between paternal rejection and anxiety. Overall, these results indicate that insecure attachment may be an important risk factor for the development of psychopathology but less convincing as a salient risk factor for the development of anxiety disorders. Moreover, the role of negative parental behaviors and insecure attachment may depend on the gender of the parent and the level of anxiety in the child.

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