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

Ewing, D.L., Dash, S., Thompson, E.J., Hazell, C.M., Hughes, Z., Lester, K.J. and Cartwright-Hatton, S. 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. doi:10.1007/s10802-015-0122-8

TitleNo significant evidence of cognitive biases for emotional stimuli in children at-risk of developing anxiety disorders
TypeJournal article
AuthorsEwing, D.L.
Dash, S.
Thompson, E.J.
Hazell, C.M.
Hughes, Z.
Lester, K.J.
Cartwright-Hatton, S.
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.

JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Journal citation44 (7), pp. 1243-1252
ISSN0091-0627
Year2016
PublisherElsevier
Publisher's version
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1007/s10802-015-0122-8
Publication dates
Published08 Jan 2016
LicenseCC BY 4.0

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