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Title: Threat bias in attention orienting: evidence of specificity in a large community-based study
Authors: Salum, G. A.
Mogg, K.
Bradley, B. P.
Gadelha, A. [UNIFESP]
Tamanaha, A. C. [UNIFESP]
Moriyama, T. [UNIFESP]
Graeff-Martins, A. S. [UNIFESP]
Jarros, R. B.
Polanczyk, G.
Rosario, M. C. do [UNIFESP]
Leibenluft, E.
Rohde, L. A.
Manfro, G. G.
Pine, D. S.
Univ Fed Rio Grande do Sul
Univ Southampton
Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)
Universidade de São Paulo (USP)
Keywords: Anxiety
Issue Date: 1-Apr-2013
Publisher: Cambridge Univ Press
Citation: Psychological Medicine. New York: Cambridge Univ Press, v. 43, n. 4, p. 733-745, 2013.
Abstract: Background. Preliminary research implicates threat-related attention biases in paediatric anxiety disorders. However, major questions exist concerning diagnostic specificity, effects of symptom-severity levels, and threat-stimulus exposure durations in attention paradigms. This study examines these issues in a large, community school-based sample.Method. A total of 2046 children (ages 6-12 years) were assessed using the Development and Well Being Assessment (DAWBA), Childhood Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and dot-probe tasks. Children were classified based on presence or absence of 'fear-related' disorders, 'distress-related' disorders, and behavioural disorders. Two dot-probe tasks, which differed in stimulus exposure, assessed attention biases for happy-face and threat-face cues. the main analysis included 1774 children.Results. for attention bias scores, a three-way interaction emerged among face-cue emotional valence, diagnostic group, and internalizing symptom severity (F=2.87, p<0.05). This interaction reflected different associations between internalizing symptom severity and threat-related attention bias across diagnostic groups. in children with no diagnosis (n=1411, mean difference=11.03, S.E.=3.47, df=1, p<0.001) and those with distress-related disorders (n=66, mean difference=10.63, S.E.=5.24, df=1, p<0.05), high internalizing symptoms predicted vigilance towards threat. However, in children with fear-related disorders (n=86, mean difference=-11.90, S.E.=5.94, df=1, p<0.05), high internalizing symptoms predicted an opposite tendency, manifesting as greater bias away from threat. These associations did not emerge in the behaviour-disorder group (n=211).Conclusions. the association between internalizing symptoms and biased orienting varies with the nature of developmental psychopathology. Both the form and severity of psychopathology moderates threat-related attention biases in children.
ISSN: 0033-2917
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