Cognitive bias modification training in children affects anxiety during anticipatory processing of social evaluation
Vassilopoulos, Stephanos P.
Moberly, Nicholas J.
International Journal of Cognitive Therapy
© 2015. © Guilford Press. Reprinted with permission of The Guilford Press This permission does not include the right for the publisher of the new work to grant others permission to photocopy or otherwise reproduce this material except for versions made by non-profit organizations for use by the blind or handicapped persons.
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Interpretation training programs have proven effective in altering anxiety-related cognitive biases in children and adults. The current study examined the effects of interpretation training on subsequent anticipatory processing of an anxiety-provoking event. A non-clinical sample of 89 children (10-12 years) was trained to interpret ambiguous social scenarios in either a benign or a negative way. After a single session of training, participants were also asked to engage in anticipatory processing and rated their state anxiety at various points during the experiment. The results indicate that the training was effective in inducing the intended group differences in interpretative bias. Moreover, participants who had previously been trained to make benign interpretations showed attenuated levels of state anxiety after but not before engaging in an anticipatory processing task, whereas participants trained to make negative interpretations showed maintained levels of state anxiety during this period. These results provide support for our hypothesis that manipulating interpretative bias may modify anxious responsivity during anticipatory processing of an anxiety-provoking event.
International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 2015, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp.318-334