Exploring the Link Between Transdiagnostic Cognitive Risk Factors, Anxiogenic Parenting Behaviors, and Child Anxiety

Elizabeth Casline, Zabin S. Patel, Kiara R. Timpano, Amanda Jensen-Doss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Theoretical models suggest parent anxiety leads to increased anxiogenic parenting, an important etiological factor for child anxiety disorders. Evidence suggests that parents engage in anxiogenic parenting to reduce distress in response to their child’s anxiety; however, further study of this mechanism is needed. Cognitive risk factors, including distress intolerance, anxiety sensitivity, emotion-related impulsivity, and repetitive negative thinking are promising to examine as they impact emotion regulation. This study examined whether an indirect association between parent anxiety and anxiogenic parenting via these risk factors exists, and if child anxiety moderated this effect. Findings demonstrated evidence for an indirect association via distress intolerance in mothers at high levels of child anxiety, but not low levels. An unmoderated indirect effect via emotion-related impulsivity was found. Anxiety sensitivity and repetitive negative thinking did not demonstrate significant indirect effects. These findings suggest distress intolerance and emotional-related impulsivity may be targets for parent-focused child anxiety treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1032-1043
Number of pages12
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Distress intolerance
  • Emotion-related impulsivity
  • Parenting
  • Repetitive negative thinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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