We investigated the role of self-reports and behavioral measures of interpretation biases and their content-specificity in children with varying levels of spider fear and/or social anxiety. In total, 141 selected children from a community sample completed an interpretation bias task with scenarios that were related to either spider threat or social threat. Specific interpretation biases were found; only spider-related interpretation bias and self-reported spider fear predicted unique variance in avoidance behavior on the Behavior Avoidance Task for spiders. Likewise, only social-threat related interpretation bias and self-reported social anxiety predicted anxiety during the Social Speech Task. These findings support the hypothesis that fearful children display cognitive biases that are specific to particular fear-relevant stimuli. Clinically, this insight might be used to improve treatments for anxious children by targeting content-specific interpretation biases related to individual disorders.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Child Psychiatry and Human Development|
|Early online date||21 Apr 2018|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2018|
Bibliographical noteCopyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.
- interpretation bias
- spider fear
- social anxiety