Karla Anhalt

Date of Graduation


Document Type



Various studies have found differences in the socialization experiences of adults with clinical levels of social anxiety, particularly direct and indirect parental influences. This study has expanded the research literature in two ways. First, the unique contribution of several parenting factors to social anxiety was evaluated. Second, participant reports of maternal and paternal child-rearing variables were examined. Four hundred and thirty four undergraduate students at West Virginia University participated in this study. Participants responded to a questionnaire packet that contained the following: (a) a demographic form; (b) the Parent Attitudes Toward Child-Rearing Years (PACR; Bruch, Heimberg, Berger, & Collins, 1989); (c) the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI; Parker, Tupling, & Brown, 1979); (d) the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA; Armsden & Greenberg, 1987); (e) the Fear of Negative Evaluation (Watson & Friend, 1969); (f) the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory (SPAI; Turner, Beidel, Dancu, & Stanley, 1989); (g) the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI; Beck & Steer, 1990); and (h) the Beck Depression Inventory - II (BDI-II; Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996). Findings revealed that parenting variables accounted for 11.7% of participant SPAI difference scores. Further, the PACR maternal encouragement of isolation subscale emerged as a primary predictor of social anxiety when regression analyses were performed separately for male and female participants. In addition, parenting variables accounted for 15.9% of the variance in general anxiety scores (as measured by the BAI) and 28.4% of the variance in depression scores (as measured by the BDI-II). Finally, maternal and paternal affectionless control and affectionate constraint parenting styles (as obtained by the PBI) emerged as variables related to participants' high levels of social anxiety, general anxiety, and depression.