Threat perception distortions and psychopathological symptoms in typically developing children.

P.E.H.M. Muris*, C.M.G. Meesters, L. Smulders, B. Mayer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study examined relationships between symptoms of anxiety, aggression, and depression, on the one hand, and threat perception distortions, on the other hand. A large sample of typically developing children aged 8-12 years (N = 157) were interviewed with an instrument for assessing the main types of childhood psychopathology, and were then exposed to a series of ambiguous vignettes in order to measure threat perception. As all measures were obtained twice, some 8 weeks apart, it was also possible to study prospective relationships between threat perception distortions and psychopathological symptoms. Results showed that threat perception was associated with a broad range of psychopathological symptoms, although the connection with anxiety was the most robust. No support was found for the notion that threat perception scores were predictive for the persistence of psychopathological symptoms during the 8-weeks period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-285
JournalInfant and Child Development
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

Cite this