Emotion processing in infancy: specificity in risk for social anxiety and associations with two year outcomes
Creswell, C., Cooper, P., Giannakakis, A., Schofield, E., Woolgar, M. and Murray, L. (2011) Emotion processing in infancy: specificity in risk for social anxiety and associations with two year outcomes. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 2 (4). pp. 490-508. ISSN 2043-8087
To link to this article DOI: 10.5127/jep.018911
The current study examined the specificity of patterns of responding to high and low intensity negative emotional expressions of infants of mothers with social phobia, and their association with child outcomes at two years of age. Infants of mothers with social phobia, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) or no history of anxiety were shown pairs of angry and fearful emotional expressions at 10 weeks of age. Symptoms of social withdrawal, anxiety and sleep problems were assessed at two years of age. Only infants of mothers with social phobia showed a tendency to look away from high intensity fear faces; however infants of mothers with both social phobia and GAD showed a bias towards high intensity angry faces. Among the offspring of mothers with social phobia, anxiety symptoms at two years of age were associated with a preference for high intensity fear faces in infancy. The reverse pattern was found amongst the offspring of non-anxious mothers. These findings suggest a possible specific response to emotional expressions among the children of mothers with social phobia.