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 journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


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
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2015


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