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Gepubliceerd in: Cognitive Therapy and Research 4/2021

07-01-2021 | Original Article

Inhibitory Control Moderates the Effect of Anxiety on Vagally Mediated Heart Rate Variability: Findings from a Community Sample of Young School-Aged Children

Auteurs: Tonje Grønning Andersen, Charlotte Fiskum, Karl Henry Jacobsen, Stian Lydersen, Lars Wichstrøm

Gepubliceerd in: Cognitive Therapy and Research | Uitgave 4/2021

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Abstract

Background

Individuals with anxiety disorders show both excessive and blunted vagally mediated heart rate variability (vmHRV) reactivity to stress. Scholars have suggested that differences in cognitive control could explain such heterogeneity, but this proposition has not been tested. The present study hence investigated the moderating effect of executive functions, particularly inhibitory control, on the relationship between anxiety symptoms and vmHRV reactivity.

Methods

We evaluated anxiety symptoms (a diagnostic interview with parents) and executive functions (parent-reported questionnaire) in 262 six-year-olds from a community sample. vmHRV responses to neutral tasks and stressors were analyzed using latent growth curve modeling.

Results

Results supported a moderating effect of inhibitory control; children with more anxiety symptoms and enhanced inhibitory control showed a blunted decrease in vmHRV in response to stressors. In contrast, counterparts with impaired inhibitory control evinced an excessive decrease in vmHRV. Children with no anxiety symptoms did not differ in vmHRV reactivity, independent of the level of inhibitory control.

Conclusions

The results could indicate that anxious children with enhanced inhibitory control successfully utilized a cognitive avoidance strategy (i.e. verbal worry) to inhibit expected autonomic arousal in response to threat. Clinical implications are discussed.
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Literatuur
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Metagegevens
Titel
Inhibitory Control Moderates the Effect of Anxiety on Vagally Mediated Heart Rate Variability: Findings from a Community Sample of Young School-Aged Children
Auteurs
Tonje Grønning Andersen
Charlotte Fiskum
Karl Henry Jacobsen
Stian Lydersen
Lars Wichstrøm
Publicatiedatum
07-01-2021
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Cognitive Therapy and Research / Uitgave 4/2021
Print ISSN: 0147-5916
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-2819
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-020-10184-3

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