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postgraduate thesis: Child anxiety: the conceptual link and respective roles of attachment security and sense of control

TitleChild anxiety: the conceptual link and respective roles of attachment security and sense of control
Authors
Issue Date2010
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Lam, S. B. [林萃碧]. (2010). Child anxiety : the conceptual link and respective roles of attachment security and sense of control. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4765707
AbstractThere has been growing research attention on the topic of child anxiety applying the theoretical framework of Attachment Theory, and the results have been encouraging so far with consistent findings on the positive association between insecure attachment and child anxiety. Child anxiety has also been associated with a diminished sense of control with extensive empirical evidences. Nevertheless, despite the rich empirical support on the associations between insecure attachment and child anxiety, and between diminished sense of control and child anxiety, the potential pathways of anxiety transmission remain largely unclear. In their discussion on the development of child anxiety, Chopita and Barlow (1998) proposed a conceptual link between attachment security and sense of control, even though it has not been followed up with empirical studies. Since available empirical evidences have validated the role of attachment security and sense of control in the development of child anxiety, it will be conceptually meaningful to investigate the potential link between attachment security and sense of control, and their respective and interactive roles in the development of child anxiety. The current study also aspires to improve understanding on the relationships between parental anxiety, parent’s and child’s sense of control, and child anxiety within the context of children undergoing elective surgeries. Children of 151 parents were about to receive elective surgeries participated in this study. Among these parents, 59 of them have children reached age 6 or above and all these children also participated in the current study. Information from 144 parents (95.36%) and 51 children (86.44%) was used for subsequent analyses. Information from 7 parents (4.64%) and 8 children (13.56%) was excluded from further analyses as they filled in less than 30% of the questionnaire items. Findings from present study showed children with insecure attachment and/or high external LOC experienced increased anxiety in preoperative period. The findings are consistent with existing literature. Children with insecure attachment were also found to espouse a higher level of external LOC. Besides, regression analyses showed that attachment security moderated the relationships between child’s external LOC and anxiety. Results also support the notion that secure attachment could be a protective factor against child anxiety development. Moreover, mediation analyses indicated child’s LOC mediated the relationship between parental and child anxiety, thereby supporting the mediation model by Chopita and Barlow. From a theoretical standpoint, findings from current study provided initial support on the linkage between attachment security and sense of control. Child’s external LOC as a potential pathway for intergenerational transmission of anxiety was also supported. The findings also bear significant clinical implications. Specifically, early screening and identification of children with insecure attachment and external LOC would allow more effective allocation of resources targeting at anxiety management in preoperative setting. Besides, taking into consideration the impact of parental anxiety, intervention for child anxiety including components for parental anxiety management should be emphasized.
DegreeDoctor of Psychology
SubjectAnxiety in children.
Attachment behavior in children.
Control (Psychology)
Dept/ProgramClinical Psychology

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLam, Sui-bik, Brenda.-
dc.contributor.author林萃碧.-
dc.date.issued2010-
dc.identifier.citationLam, S. B. [林萃碧]. (2010). Child anxiety : the conceptual link and respective roles of attachment security and sense of control. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4765707-
dc.description.abstractThere has been growing research attention on the topic of child anxiety applying the theoretical framework of Attachment Theory, and the results have been encouraging so far with consistent findings on the positive association between insecure attachment and child anxiety. Child anxiety has also been associated with a diminished sense of control with extensive empirical evidences. Nevertheless, despite the rich empirical support on the associations between insecure attachment and child anxiety, and between diminished sense of control and child anxiety, the potential pathways of anxiety transmission remain largely unclear. In their discussion on the development of child anxiety, Chopita and Barlow (1998) proposed a conceptual link between attachment security and sense of control, even though it has not been followed up with empirical studies. Since available empirical evidences have validated the role of attachment security and sense of control in the development of child anxiety, it will be conceptually meaningful to investigate the potential link between attachment security and sense of control, and their respective and interactive roles in the development of child anxiety. The current study also aspires to improve understanding on the relationships between parental anxiety, parent’s and child’s sense of control, and child anxiety within the context of children undergoing elective surgeries. Children of 151 parents were about to receive elective surgeries participated in this study. Among these parents, 59 of them have children reached age 6 or above and all these children also participated in the current study. Information from 144 parents (95.36%) and 51 children (86.44%) was used for subsequent analyses. Information from 7 parents (4.64%) and 8 children (13.56%) was excluded from further analyses as they filled in less than 30% of the questionnaire items. Findings from present study showed children with insecure attachment and/or high external LOC experienced increased anxiety in preoperative period. The findings are consistent with existing literature. Children with insecure attachment were also found to espouse a higher level of external LOC. Besides, regression analyses showed that attachment security moderated the relationships between child’s external LOC and anxiety. Results also support the notion that secure attachment could be a protective factor against child anxiety development. Moreover, mediation analyses indicated child’s LOC mediated the relationship between parental and child anxiety, thereby supporting the mediation model by Chopita and Barlow. From a theoretical standpoint, findings from current study provided initial support on the linkage between attachment security and sense of control. Child’s external LOC as a potential pathway for intergenerational transmission of anxiety was also supported. The findings also bear significant clinical implications. Specifically, early screening and identification of children with insecure attachment and external LOC would allow more effective allocation of resources targeting at anxiety management in preoperative setting. Besides, taking into consideration the impact of parental anxiety, intervention for child anxiety including components for parental anxiety management should be emphasized.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47657078-
dc.subject.lcshAnxiety in children.-
dc.subject.lcshAttachment behavior in children.-
dc.subject.lcshControl (Psychology)-
dc.titleChild anxiety: the conceptual link and respective roles of attachment security and sense of control-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4765707-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Psychology-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineClinical Psychology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4765707-
dc.date.hkucongregation2011-

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