Parental accommodation of child anxiety and related symptoms: Range, impact, and correlates

Johanna Thompson-Hollands*, Caroline E. Kerns, Donna B. Pincus, Jonathan S. Comer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parental accommodation - i.e., changes in parents' behavior in attempts to prevent or reduce child distress - has been most studied in relation to OCD. Although recent work suggests parents of children with non-OCD anxiety diagnoses also engage in accommodation, little is known about the specific forms, correlates, and associated interference of such accommodation. The present study examined the range and associated interference of parental accommodation behaviors using the newly developed Family Accommodation Checklist and Interference Scale (FACLIS) in a sample of the parents of 71 clinic-referred children with anxiety disorders (NMothers=68; NFathers=51). The FACLIS demonstrated good reliability and validity. Ninety-seven percent of mothers and 88% of fathers reported engaging in at least one type of accommodation in the previous two weeks, with parents reporting an average of roughly 4 interfering parental accommodation behaviors. Greater parental accommodation and associated interference were associated with higher maternal distress. Among the anxiety disorders, accommodation was most strongly associated with generalized and separation anxiety disorder, as well as specific phobias. Findings (a) offer psychometric support for the FACLIS as a reliable and valid tool for the assessment of accommodation range and impact, and (b) help clarify the considerable scope and interference associated with parental accommodation of childhood anxiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)765-773
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume28
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Keywords

  • Accommodation
  • Anxiety
  • Parents
  • Transdiagnostic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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