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01-02-2013 | Original Article | Uitgave 1/2013

Cognitive Therapy and Research 1/2013

Content Specificity of Threat Interpretation in Anxious and Non-Clinical Children

Tijdschrift:
Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 1/2013
Auteurs:
Jamie A. Micco, Dina R. Hirshfeld-Becker, Aude Henin, Jill Ehrenreich-May
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Analyses in this paper were conducted using a dataset collected as part of the first author’s doctoral dissertation, which was completed at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University, Boston, MA.

Abstract

This study investigated content specificity of children’s threat interpretations in a group of 40 clinically anxious (18 boys, 22 girls; ages 7–14 years) and a group of 40 non-clinical children (19 boys, 21 girls; ages 8–14 years). Associations between disorder-specific threat interpretations (in response to situations selected by each child) and each of six DSM-IV anxiety and depressive disorder symptom domains were examined for each group of children through multivariate regression analyses. Supporting theories of cognitive content specificity, results showed that for clinically anxious children, symptoms of social phobia and panic disorder were significantly and specifically predicted by threat interpretation in response to situations that corresponded to each disorder, while symptoms of separation anxiety were predicted by threat perception in situations relevant to separation anxiety and panic disorder. There was little evidence of cognitive content specificity within the non-clinical group of children. Implications for theories of development of interpretation biases associated with child anxiety disorders are discussed.

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