Cognitive Vulnerability Profiles of Highly Anxious and Non-anxious Children

T. Marques, A.I.F. Pereira, L. Barros, P. Muris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Current theoretical notions emphasise the role of cognitive variables in the development and maintenance of childhood anxiety. The purpose of this study was to explore whether there are different types of cognitive vulnerability to anxiety among children. The participants were 118 children between the ages of 7 and 13 who completed a set of questionnaires to measure cognitive errors, threat-related interpretation bias, and anxiety-related control. Cluster analysis identified three relevant clusters: (1) a High Cognitive Vulnerability cluster, characterised by high levels of cognitive errors and threat interpretation and low levels of control; (2) a Low Cognitive Vulnerability cluster, characterised by low levels of cognitive errors and threat interpretation and high levels of control; and (3) an Inconsistent Cognitive Vulnerability cluster, characterised by low levels of cognitive errors and threat interpretation and low levels of control. Differences between the clusters were found in terms of anxiety symptoms, coping strategies, and gender. The theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-785
Number of pages9
JournalChild Psychiatry & Human Development
Volume44
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Keywords

  • Cognitive vulnerability
  • Cognitive errors
  • Interpretation bias
  • Anxiety-related control
  • Childhood anxiety
  • CHILDHOOD ANXIETY
  • DISORDERS
  • ERRORS
  • QUESTIONNAIRE
  • CRITIQUE
  • YOUTH

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