How trait anxiety, interpretation bias and memory affect acquired fear in children learning about new animals

Field, Zoë C and Field, Andy P (2013) How trait anxiety, interpretation bias and memory affect acquired fear in children learning about new animals. Emotion, 13 (3). pp. 409-423. ISSN 1528-3542

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Abstract

Cognitive models of vulnerability to anxiety propose that information processing biases such as interpretation bias play a part in the etiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders. However, at present little is known about the role of memory in information processing accounts of child anxiety. The current study investigates the relationships between interpretation biases, memory and fear responses when learning about new stimuli. Children (aged 8-11 years) were presented with ambiguous information regarding a novel animal, and their fear, interpretation bias, and memory for the information was measured. The main findings were: (1) trait anxiety and interpretation bias significantly predicted acquired fear; (2) interpretation bias did not significantly mediate the relationship between trait anxiety and acquired fear; (3) interpretation bias appeared to be a more important predictor of acquired fear than trait anxiety per se; and (4) the relationship between interpretation bias and acquired fear was not mediated by the number of negative memories but was mediated by the number of positive and false-positive memories. The findings suggest that information processing models of child anxiety need to explain the role of positive memory in the formation of fear responses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2013 12:15
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2014 11:54
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/42500

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