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Influences of age and anxiety on processing of emotional information in children

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskning

Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric disturbances in childhood (Costello 2003). Theorists suggest that information-processing biases for emotional information play an important role in the development of anxiety disorders (Kendall & Ronan, 1990), and that development/age affects information-processing biases due to its significant relationship with executive functioning levels and cognitive maturation (Lonigan et al., 2004). The present study aimed to further investigate the relationships between information-processing biases and childhood development. Information-processing bias was assessed using an emotional Stroop paradigm with angry, happy and neutral faces. Trait anxiety was measured using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children (STAI-C; Spielberger et al., 1983). There were four groups of schoolchildren (N = 67, aged 7 - 14) divided by median splits on trait anxiety (below vs above 31 on STAI-C) and age (below vs above 10.75 years). Results revealed a significant Age x Trait anxiety x Type of emotional face interaction effect on interference scores, indicating an interference effect of angry faces (relative to neutral faces) in younger children with moderate levels of trait anxiety (i.e. 7-10 year-olds with STAI-C > 31). This interference effect was not evident in low trait anxious children, or in older children, irrespective of anxiety levels. There was no interference effect of happy faces. Findings suggest that cognitive maturation (i.e. age) may help moderately anxious children regulate interference for threat-related stimuli. Results are discussed in relation to current cognitive and developmental models of anxiety.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Publikationsdato2009
StatusUdgivet - 2009
BegivenhedEuropean Association of Behavioural and Cognitive therapy (EABCT) - Dubrovnik, Kroatien
Varighed: 16 sep. 200919 sep. 2009
Konferencens nummer: 39

Konference

KonferenceEuropean Association of Behavioural and Cognitive therapy (EABCT)
Nummer39
LandKroatien
ByDubrovnik
Periode16/09/200919/09/2009

ID: 17118282