Temperament, parenting, and the development of anxiety In early childhood
A number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors influencing the development of anxiety have been identified; however, it remains unclear how the confluence of these factors produce risk for or protection against the development of anxiety in early childhood. This study tested a theoretically-derived model of anxiety development spanning infancy (six months) to mid-childhood (approximately six years) that includes temperamental reactivity (i.e., behavioral inhibition), temperamental self-regulation (i.e., effortful control), and maternal intrusiveness. Theoretically-consistent alternate models were also tested. Exploratory analyses were conducted to examine the effects of child gender, child care type, and child care quality on relations under study. Data used in this study were collected from 1,364 children and their caregivers by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for their prospective, longitudinal Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Analyses were conducted using structural equation modeling. Results provided preliminary support for the model. Results suggest that one mechanism linking behavioral inhibition in infancy to anxiety symptoms in mid- childhood is through diminished effortful control. Further, moderated mediation analyses indicated that this mechanism was apparent only for children whose mothers did not demonstrate intrusive behaviors during toddlerhood. Subsequent analyses indicated that mediational and moderated mediational mechanisms supported in the current study may be apparent only for girls.