Understanding the Path to Sub-Clinical Anxiety Among Female Adolescents: The Role of Caregiver Anxiety and Peer Rejection

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Anxiety has been identified as one of the most common groups of mental health concerns among adolescents worldwide. Experts have pointed to a number of possible explanations related to the origins of anxiety; however, issues concerning anxiety’s risk factors continue to be tempered by often unsystematic and fragmented models related to adolescent anxiety. Although valuable, these findings fail to capture the dynamic interactions among multiple risk factors that may characterize the frequency of anxiety symptoms, potentially negating early-intervention supports. To address this gap, the current study examined the interaction and path among individual (e.g., physical health complaints, avoidance) and environmental (e.g., parent/caregiver anxiety, peer rejection) contributing factors of anxiety symptoms in 167 adolescent girls between 11 and 18 years of age without a history of a previous or current mental health disorder (SD= 2.01; M = 14.70) and their primary caregiver. Analysis of the full model revealed a relatively poor model fit, with the CFI only demonstrating acceptable model fit indices 2 (df = 3) 17.58, p = 0.001; CFI = 0.95; TLI = 0.84 RMSEA = 0.17 SRMR = 0.06. The current study offers initial evidence that supports theoretical assumptions suggesting that many anxiety risk factors are interconnected, and how together, a range of vulnerabilities and their relation among one another are associated to anxiety. Further implications of the findings, as well as recommendations for future research, are included.
anxiety, path analysis, females, adolescents
Purcell, V. (2022). Understanding the path to sub-clinical anxiety among female adolescents: the role of caregiver anxiety and peer rejection (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca.