Assessment of parental experiential avoidance in a clinical sample of children with anxiety disorders

Daniel M. Cheron, Jill T. Ehrenreich, Donna B. Pincus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations


This investigation seeks to establish the psychometric properties of an adapted measure of experiential avoidance (EA) in the parenting context by assessing its relation to other parenting constructs and psychosocial correlates of child anxiety in a clinical sample. Participants were 154 children (90 female, 64 male) diagnosed with anxiety disorders and their parents (148 mothers, 119 fathers). The newly developed Parental Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (PAAQ) was administered to parents along with self-report measures of adult experiential avoidance, parental psychopathology, affective expression, and parental control behaviors. A subsample of participants, n = 35, were re-administered the PAAQ to assess temporal stability. Factor analysis of the PAAQ yielded a two-factor solution with factors labeled Inaction and Unwillingness. Temporal stability of the PAAQ was found to be moderate, r = .68-.74. Internal consistency was fair across subscales of the PAAQ, α = .64-.65. Correlational analysis of the PAAQ and parent-report measures support the criterion validity of the PAAQ, suggesting that the PAAQ correlates with parent-report measures of parental locus of control, affective expression, and controlling parental behaviors as well as child psychopathology symptoms. Finally, the clinical applicability of the PAAQ is indicated by the PAAQ's ability to predict a significant amount of variance in parent- and clinician-rated levels of child anxiety and related psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-403
Number of pages21
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009


  • AAQ
  • Acceptance
  • Acceptance and action questionnaire
  • Assessment
  • Child anxiety
  • Control
  • Experiential Avoidance
  • PAAQ
  • Parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of parental experiential avoidance in a clinical sample of children with anxiety disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this