Theoretical models and empirical studies of anxiety have predominately focused on the main effects of various predictors such as executive functioning deficits on anxiety. This study examined the moderating role of parental demandingness in the relationship between executive functioning deficits and anxiety in children. Ninety children (46.67% female) aged from 9 to 14 years completed several executive functioning tasks and a measure of anxiety. Parental demandingness was rated based on an observation of parent-child interactions. The children completed the anxiety measure again at one-year follow-up. The results showed that parental demandingness significantly moderated the prospective relationship between executive functioning deficits and anxiety, such that the association between executive functioning deficits and anxiety in children was weaker when parental demandingness was lower. These findings suggest that low parental demandingness may serve as a protective factor that buffers the detrimental effects of executive functioning deficits on anxiety.
Bibliographical noteB.C.Y.L. conceptualised the study, conducted the analyses, administrated the project, supervised the research team, drafted and edited the manuscript; S.K.C. collected the data, conducted the analysis, drafted and edited the manuscript; T.K.N. conducted the analysis, drafted and edited the manuscript; A.W.M.C. drafted and edited the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee (Human Research Ethics Committee, The University of Honng Kong) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
- Executive functioning
- Longitudinal study
- Parental demandingness