Locus of control, perceived parenting style, and symptoms of anxiety and depression in children with Tourette's syndrome

Esther Cohen*, Michal Sade, Fortu Benarroch, Yehuda Pollak, Varda Gross-Tsur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Aim: This study explored the contribution of two psychosocial factors, locus of control (LOC) and perceived parenting style, to symptoms of internalizing disorders in children with Tourette syndrome (TS). This contribution was further evaluated in relation to TS severity. Methods: Sixty-five children (53 boys, 12 girls) ages 9.0-16.9 years, of normal intelligence, completed questionnaires evaluating their depression and anxiety symptoms, LOC, and maternal parenting style. Their mothers rated TS severity, determined by tic severity, symptoms of attention-deficit hypreactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive compulsive symptoms (OCS). Results: Higher rates of symptoms of anxiety and depression were associated with a more external LOC and a more rejecting and controlling parenting style. Additionally, depression correlated significantly with tic severity, ADHD and OCS, whereas anxiety correlated only with ADHD symptoms and OCS, but not with tics. Regression analyses showed that LOC, OCS and ADHD symptoms each significantly contributed to predicting anxiety level, whereas LOC and ADHD symptoms significantly contributed to predicting depression symptoms. Conclusions: Rates of symptoms of anxiety and depression in children with TS are markedly influenced by psychosocial factors, extending beyond the influence of ADHD and OCD, both common comorbid disorders in TS. An internal LOC, which is associated with an accepting and autonomy-granting parenting style, appears to be a protective factor against anxiety and depression.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)299-305
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Locus of control
  • Parenting style
  • Tourette's syndrome


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