Social anxiety and content specificity of interpretation and judgemental bias in children

Vassilopoulos, Stephanos P and Banerjee, Robin (2012) Social anxiety and content specificity of interpretation and judgemental bias in children. Infant and Child Development, 21 (3). pp. 298-309. ISSN 1522-7227

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Abstract

Previous research with adult samples has demonstrated that social anxiety disorder is associated with content-specific interpretation and judgemental biases. The present study extends our understanding of the specificity of cognitive biases in childhood social anxiety. A sample of non-clinical children aged 11-12years completed social anxiety and depression scales and was presented with scenarios depicting hypothetical events varying along two dimensions: relevance to self (event occurs to self or to other) and domain of activity (event is social or non-social). Partial support for the content-specificity hypothesis was found. Children's social anxiety symptoms were positively associated with negative interpretation ratings for ambiguous self-referent and other-referent events, but only when these events were in the social domain. Further, children's social anxiety symptoms were positively associated with emotional cost judgements for ambiguous social and non-social events, but only when these events referred to the self. Both patterns of results remained significant even after controlling for concurrent depressive symptoms. Implications of the results for our understanding of maintaining factors in childhood social anxiety are discussed. Copyright (c) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: 952AS Times Cited:0 Cited References Count:33
Keywords: social anxiety cognitive bias interpretation judgemental bias children concurrent validity emotional events phobia depression performance adolescents scale self
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0309 Consciousness. Cognition Including learning, attention, comprehension, memory, imagination, genius, intelligence, thought and thinking, psycholinguistics, mental fatigue
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0712 Developmental psychology Including infant psychology, child psychology, adolescence, adulthood > BF0724 Adolesence. Youth
Depositing User: Robin Banerjee
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2012 09:05
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2012 09:05
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/42284
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