Origins of Threat Based Responding in Anxious Children

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Waters, Allison

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Zimmer-Gembeck, Melanie

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2013
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Abstract

Background: The purpose of this research was to provide a systematic examination of the role of attention and interpretation biases in the expression of anxiety in children. This research also examined the influence of maternal expectations on the information that mothers provide their children and the degree of avoidance behaviour mothers expect of anxious children relative to non-anxious children and siblings. Assessment of attention bias, interpretation bias and avoidance expectancies was undertaken using the following established experimental paradigms previously employed in paediatric research: (1) a visual probe task assessing attention bias for threat and happy faces relative to neutral faces (Waters, Mogg, Bradley, & Pine, 2008), (2) a hypothetical scenarios task assessing cognitive, emotional and behavioural interpretations of threat, positive and neutral situations (Bögels & Zigterman, 2000), and (3) an analogue task assessing estimates of avoidance of threat in threat and ambiguous situations (Field & Storksen-Coulson, 2007).

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (PhD ClinPsych)

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School of Applied Psychology

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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.

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Figure 5.1 on page 109 has not been published for copyright compliance.

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Subject

Anxiety in children

Mother child relationship

Threats (Psychology)

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