No significant evidence of cognitive biases for emotional stimuli in children at-risk of developing anxiety disorders

Ewing, Donna L, Dash, Suzanne, Thompson, Ellen J, Hazell, Cassie, Hughes, Zoe, Lester, Kathryn J and Cartwright-Hatton, Sam (2016) No significant evidence of cognitive biases for emotional stimuli in children at-risk of developing anxiety disorders. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 44 (7). pp. 1243-1252. ISSN 0091-0627

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Abstract

This paper explores whether the increased vulnerability
of children of anxious parents to develop anxiety disorders may be partially explained by these children having increased cognitive biases towards threat compared with children of non-anxious parents. Parents completed questionnaires about their child’s anxiety symptoms. Children aged 5–9 (n = 85) participated in two cognitive bias tasks: 1) an emotion recognition task, and 2) an ambiguous situations questionnaire. For the emotion recognition task, there were no significant differences between at-risk children and children of non-anxious parents in their cognitive bias scores for reaction times or for accuracy in identifying angry or happy facial expressions. In addition, there were no significant differences between at-risk children and children of non-anxious parents in the number of threat interpretations made for the ambiguous situations questionnaire. It is possible that these cognitive biases only become present subsequent to the development of an anxiety disorder, or only in older at-risk children.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Anxiety; Cognitive bias; At-risk children; Emotion recognition; Ambiguous situations
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
School of Psychology > Psychology
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Sussex Health Outcomes Research & Education in Cancer (SHORE-C)
Subjects: Q Science > QZ Psychology
Depositing User: Donna Ewing
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2016 13:24
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2017 15:32
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/59069

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Anxiety Symptoms Prevention InvestigationUnsetNational Institute for Health ResearchCDF-2010-03-36
UnsetUnsetMedical Research CouncilMR/J011762/1