This study evaluated the impact of maternal anxiety about a child's epilepsy on parental overprotection and the child's adaptive functioning. Specific maternal and family characteristics that contribute to elevated maternal anxiety about epilepsy were also studied over a year's time in a group of 56 mothers with children recently diagnosed with epilepsy. Overall, the primary predictor of maternal anxiety about epilepsy was the mother's level of coping resources, although family stress aggravated anxiety at the initial time point. Maternal anxiety about epilepsy was associated with overprotective and overly directive parenting styles, but it was the anxiety level itself that was most strongly related to the child's adaptive functioning. Maternal anxiety about epilepsy decreased over time, as did the relationship of maternal anxiety to the child's adaptive functioning. Nonetheless, after a year had elapsed, maternal anxiety was still associated with poorer adaptive skills.