Preventive intervention as means of clarifying direction of effects in socialization: anxious-withdrawn preschoolers case

Dev Psychopathol. Summer 1997;9(3):551-64. doi: 10.1017/s0954579497001302.


An indicated preventive intervention research program integrating attachment, attributional, and behaviorist perspectives was conducted to test the hypothesis that parent-child relationship disturbances directly effect the child's adjustment to the preschool. Anxious-withdrawn preschool children and their mothers were divided equally into treatment and control groups, and assessed on maternal self-report of parenting stress, behavioral ratings of mother-child interaction, and teacher ratings of the children in the preschool classroom. Results showed significant changes in the treatment of group: mothers in the treatment group moderated their level of control to a more appropriate, less intrusive level, while children in the treatment group showed an increase in cooperation and enthusiasm during a problem solving task with mother. Teacher-rated social competence and anxious-withdrawn behavior indicated improvement, although only the former was significant. The demonstration of effects of this home intervention for the mother on the child's behavior in the preschool confirm the transactional model underlying this study and demonstrate the utility of a parent-child interaction training component for the prevention of behavioral-emotional problems in young children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / prevention & control
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maternal Behavior / psychology
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Social Adjustment
  • Socialization*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology