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Media opportunity: Children who are the same sex as their parent with anxiety disorder are at greater risk of developing anxiety disorder too: Dalhousie University study

Posted by Communications and Marketing on July 12, 2022 in News

New research by a team at Dalhousie University suggests that children who are the same sex as a parent with an anxiety disorder are at greater risk of developing an anxiety disorder too.

The findings, published today in JAMA Network Open, indicate that environmental factors and modelling may influence the emergence and progression of an anxiety disorder.

The researchers, led by Dr. Barbara Pavlova in Dalhousie's Psychiatry Department, found that having a parent with an anxiety disorder and of the same sex increases the likelihood of the child having an anxiety disorder more so than having a parent with an anxiety disorder, but who is the opposite sex.

The results suggest that children learn anxious behaviour from their parents, meaning that transmission of anxiety from parents to children may be preventable.  

Dr. Pavlova is available to discuss the research and how treating parents’ anxiety is not just important for their own health, but also for the health of their children particularly if the child and the parent are of the same sex.


Media contact:
Alison Auld
Senior Research Reporter
Communications, Marketing & Creative Services
Dalhousie University
Mobile: 902-220-0491


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