Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Anxiety Related Attention Bias in Four to Eight-Year-Olds: An Eye-Tracking Study

Version 1 : Received: 9 November 2020 / Approved: 10 November 2020 / Online: 10 November 2020 (14:10:54 CET)

How to cite: Stuijfzand, S.; Reynolds, S.; Stuijfzand, B.; Dodd, H. Anxiety Related Attention Bias in Four to Eight-Year-Olds: An Eye-Tracking Study. Preprints 2020, 2020110319 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0319.v1). Stuijfzand, S.; Reynolds, S.; Stuijfzand, B.; Dodd, H. Anxiety Related Attention Bias in Four to Eight-Year-Olds: An Eye-Tracking Study. Preprints 2020, 2020110319 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0319.v1).

Abstract

(1) Background: There is robust evidence of an attention bias-anxiety relationship in children, but lack of appropriate methods has limited the number of studies with children younger than 8 years old. This study used eye-tracking as a measure of overt attention in young children. The aim of this study was to assess anxiety related attention bias in children aged 4 to 8 years. Age was considered as a moderator and the influence of effortful control was investigated. (2) Method: A community sample of 104 children were shown pairs of happy-neutral and angry-neutral faces. Growth curve analyses were used to examine patterns of gaze over time. (3) Results: Analyses revealed moderation by age and anxiety, with distinct patterns of anxiety-related biases seen in different age groups in the angry-neutral face trials. Effortful control did not account for age related effects. (4) Conclusions: Results support a moderation model of the development of anxiety in children.

Subject Areas

Anxiety; Child; Attention bias; Eye-tracking; Gaze; Development.

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