Potential role of childrearing practices in the development of anxiety and depression

Clin Psychol Rev. 1997;17(1):47-67. doi: 10.1016/s0272-7358(96)00040-2.


There is a vast literature describing the importance of childrearing factors in the development of anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, much of this work comes from diverse areas, has variable theoretical bases, and makes use of a variety of methods, each with its own limitations. Thus, conclusions about the state of the research are difficult to draw. This review pulls together literature related to childrearing factors and anxiety and depression from a wide variety of areas. Many of the studies are methodologically limited and results have been variable. Nevertheless, there is surprising consistency that suggests that rejection and control by parents may be positively related to later anxiety and depression. There is also more limited evidence to indicate that rejection may be more strongly associated with depression, whereas control is more specifically associated with anxiety. Limitations of the research are highlighted and specific suggestions for future research directions are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Causality
  • Child
  • Child Rearing / psychology*
  • Coercion
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Family Health*
  • Humans
  • Observation
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Psychometrics / standards
  • Rejection, Psychology
  • Retrospective Studies