Adverse parenting as a risk factor in the occurrence of anxiety disorders

Dirk Heider, Herbert Matschinger, Sebastian Bernert, Jordi Alonso, Traolach S. Brugha, Ronny Bruffaerts, Giovanni Girolamo, Sandra Dietrich, Matthias C. Angermeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of the study was to test the homogeneity of the association between adverse parenting and anxiety disorders within these disorders as well as among six European countries. Method: Based on data from 8,232 respondents (part II sample) originating from the European study of the epidemiology of mental disorders (ESEMeD), we examined the association between three dimensions of parental rearing (care, overprotection, authoritarianism) measured by a short form of the parental bonding instrument (PBI) and anxiety disorders by computing one logistic regression model per disorder. Results: A similar pattern of recalled parenting behaviour across the four anxiety disorders assessed was found, with care and overprotection having the strongest associations. There were only minor country-specific variations of this pattern. Conclusion: Our results suggest an association between adverse parenting and the risk of anxiety disorders in particular as well as psychiatric disorders in general that is rather non-disorder specific.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-272
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


  • Anxiety disorders
  • Epidemiological study
  • Parental bonding instrument

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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