Child anxiety and the processing of ambiguity

Helen F. Dodd*, Suzannah Stuijfzand, Talia Morris, Jennifer L. Hudson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An association between interpretation of ambiguity and anxiety may exist in children, but findings have been equivocal. The present research utilized the Interpretation Generation Questionnaire for Children (IGQ-C), a novel measure that breaks down the processing of ambiguity into three steps: the generation of possible interpretations, the selection of the most likely interpretation and the anticipated emotional response to the ambiguous situation. The IGQ-C was completed by 103 children aged 11–12 years, 28 of whom had a clinical anxiety disorder. There was some evidence for an association between anxiety and: (1) the generation of initial negative interpretations; (2) the generation of a greater number of negative interpretations overall; and (3) the selection of negative responses. These findings were not consistent across measures of anxiety. A more convincing association was found between child anxiety and anticipated emotional response to the ambiguous scenarios, with anxious children anticipating more negative emotion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-677
Number of pages9
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2015

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