Date of Award

12-1-2012

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

DiLalla, Lisabeth

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine whether child temperament, parent personality, and the interaction between the two would predict anxiety/depressive problems, and also whether the presence of positive factors would be related to child anxiety/depressive problems. It was also hypothesized that child mood would be predictive of symptoms of anxiety and depression, even after accounting for heritability. Participants were 106 5-year-old twin pairs and their parents, who completed questionnaires and a parent-child interaction. As hypothesized, child negative mood and parent personality were significant predictors of anxiety/depressive problems. However, their interaction was not significant. For children in the negative mood group, as their level of family conflict decreased, their score on anxiety/depression also decreased, providing evidence that low family conflict is protective. Results also revealed that anxiety/depression is heritable and that child mood was significant in predicting symptoms of anxiety and depression even after first accounting for heritability.

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