Children's interpretation and avoidant response biases in response to non-salient and salient situations: Relationships with mothers' threat perception and coping expectations

Jamie A. Micco, Jill T. Ehrenreich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the effect of situation salience on interpretation and avoidant response biases in clinically anxious and non-clinical children. The relationship between mothers' threat perception and expectations of their children's coping, and children's threat perception and coping expectations was also assessed. Forty clinically anxious and 40 non-clinical children (ages 7-14) participated with their mothers. In response to hypothetical situations, children described their likely thoughts and actions; mothers listed a typical child's thoughts and what their child would do. Consistent with information processing theories of anxiety, anxious children displayed amplified cognitive biases in response to personally salient situations, compared to non-clinical children. Mothers of anxious children had lower expectations for their children's coping than mothers of non-anxious children, mirroring differences between the groups of children. Mothers' expectations of their children's coping predicted children's coping expectations in non-salient and salient situations and threat perception in salient situations. Implications of findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-385
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Child anxiety
  • Information processing
  • Interpretation bias
  • Mother-child relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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