The role of temperament and parenting on anxiety problems among toddlers: Moderating role of parenting and mediating role of attachment

Bahtiyar-Saygan B., Berument S. K.

Infant Mental Health Journal, vol.43, no.4, pp.533-545, 2022 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/imhj.21988
  • Title of Journal : Infant Mental Health Journal
  • Page Numbers: pp.533-545
  • Keywords: afectividad madre-niño, Angst, anne-çocuk bağlanma örüntüleri, ansiedad, anxiety, attachement mère-enfant, aşırı korumacılık, behavioral inhibition, calidez, chaleur, davranışsal ketlenme, duygusal sıcaklık, inhibición de conducta, inhibition comportementale, Kaygı, mother–child attachment, Mots clés: anxiété, Mutter-Kind-Bindun, negative emotionality, olumsuz duygulanım, overprotectiveness, sobreprotección, surprotection, Verhaltenshemmung, warmth, Wärme, émotivité négative, Überfürsorglichkeit, الكلمات الرئيسية: القلق ، الحماية الزائدة ، الدفء ، تثبيط السلوك ، التعلق بين الأم والطفل, 不安、過保護、温かさ、行動抑制、母-子アタッチメント, 关键词:焦虑, 过度保护, 热情, 行为抑制, 母子依恋


© 2022 Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health.Anxiety problems are seen as early as 1–2 years of age. Among others, parenting and child temperament are considered as the most important factors affecting anxiety in early childhood. In the current study, the unique roles of parenting (maternal overprotectiveness and warmth) and temperament (behavioral inhibition and negative emotionality), parenting-temperament interactions, and mediating role of ambivalent attachment between behavioral inhibition and anxiety were investigated. One-hundred mother–child (18–36-month-old) dyads participated in this study. Children's anxiety and temperament were measured through mother-reported scales, attachment was measured by observation via home visits, and parenting dimensions were measured via both mother-reported scales and observation. The results revealed that behavioral inhibition and overprotectiveness were positively associated with toddlers’ anxiety, whereas there were no significant direct associations of negative emotionality and warmth with anxiety. However, the interaction between behavioral inhibition and warmth predicted toddler's anxiety; that is, if behaviorally inhibited children had mothers who were low on warmth, those children were more likely to exhibit anxiety symptoms compared to children with low behavioral inhibition, whereas anxiety levels did not change for children of warm mothers. Ambivalent attachment mediated the relationship between behavioral inhibition and anxiety. The nature of parent-child interactions is discussed based on toddlerhood anxiety.