Accessibility navigation


Trajectories of anxiety when children start school: the role of behavioural inhibition and attention bias to angry and happy faces

Dodd, H. F., Rayson, H., Ryan, Z., Bishop, C., Parsons, S. and Stuijfzand, B. (2020) Trajectories of anxiety when children start school: the role of behavioural inhibition and attention bias to angry and happy faces. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. ISSN 1939-1846 (In Press)

[img] Text - Accepted Version
· Restricted to Repository staff only
· The Copyright of this document has not been checked yet. This may affect its availability.

654kB

It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1037/abn0000623

Abstract/Summary

Extensive research has examined attention bias to threat in the context of anxiety in adults, but little is understood about this association in young children and there is a dearth of longitudinal research examining whether attention bias to threat predicts anxiety over time in childhood. In the current study, a sample of 180 children participated in a longitudinal study, first as preschoolers and again as they transitioned to formal schooling. At baseline, children aged 3-4 years completed a free-viewing eyetracking task with angry-neutral and happy-neutral face pairs and an assessment of behavioural inhibition (BI). At follow-up, parents provided daily reports of their child’s state anxiety over a 2-week period as their child started school and completed a measure of their child’s anxiety symptoms. Results indicated that, on average, preschool-aged children exhibit a bias for emotional faces that is stronger for angry than happy faces. There was little evidence that this bias was associated with anxiety symptoms. However, BI interacted with dwell bias for angry faces to predict trajectories of anxiety over the transition to school. An unexpected interaction between BI and dwell bias for happy faces was also found, with dwell for happy faces associated with lower anxiety for children higher in BI. The findings are consistent with recent developmental models of the BI-anxiety relationship and indicate that attention bias modification may not be suitable for young children, for whom attention bias to threat may be normative.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Anxiety and Depression in Young People (AnDY)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Development
ID Code:92374
Uncontrolled Keywords:Anxiety, children, attention-bias, emotional faces, transition to school.
Publisher:American Psychological Association

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation