Biases in interpretation as a vulnerability factor for children of parents with an anxiety disorder
Number of pages
SourceJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 57, 7, (2018), pp. 462-470
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
SW OZ BSI KLP
SW OZ BSI BO
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment
Objective: Children of parents with an anxiety disorder have a higher risk of developing an anxiety disorder than children of parents without an anxiety disorder. Parental anxiety is not regarded as a causal risk factor itself, but is likely to be mediated via other mechanisms, for example via cognitive factors. We investigated whether children of parents with an anxiety disorder would show an interpretation bias corresponding to the diagnosis of their parent. We also explored whether children's interpretation biases were explained by parental anxiety and/or children’s levels of anxiety. Method: In total, 44 children of parents with a panic disorder (PD), 27 children of parents with a social anxiety disorder (SAD), 7 children of parents with SAD/PD, and 84 children of parents without an anxiety disorder (controls) participated in this study. Parents and children filled out the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Disorders (SCARED) questionnaire, and children performed two ambiguous scenario tasks: one with and one without video priming. Results: Children of parents with PD displayed significantly more negative interpretations of panic scenarios and social scenarios than controls. Negative interpretations of panic scenarios were explained by parental PD diagnosis and children’s anxiety levels. These effects were not found for children of parents with SAD. Priming did not affect interpretation. Conclusion: Our results showed that children of parents with PD have a higher chance of interpreting ambiguous situations more negatively than children of parents without anxiety disorders. More research is needed to study whether this negative bias predicts later development of anxiety disorders in children.
Upload full text
Use your RU credentials (u/z-number and password) tolog in with SURFconextto upload a file for processing by the repository team.