The Role of self-reports and behavioral measures of interpretation biases in children with varying levels of anxiety

Anke M. Klein*, Emmelie Flokstra, Rianne van Niekerk, Steven Klein, Ronald M. Rapee, Jennifer L. Hudson, Susan M. Bögels, Eni S. Becker, Mike Rinck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)897–905
Number of pages9
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Volume49
Issue number6
Early online date21 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright 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.

Keywords

  • interpretation bias
  • content-specificity
  • children
  • spider fear
  • social anxiety

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