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Title: Cognitive bias modification in children : the effect on interpretation bias, anxiety and mood
Author: Rowsell-Docherty , M.
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2013
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Cognitive Bias Modification for Interpretation Bias (CBM-I) is a newly developed intervention for anxiety disorders. Based upon cognitive theory, the intervention arises from research connecting interpretation bias towards threat, with the development of anxiety, and uses computer-based training paradigms to modify interpretation bias. Research supporting these training paradigms has mainly been performed with adults, with only a few published studies exploring CBM-I for children. The current study created a new CBM-I training paradigm devised to modify interpretation biases in children 10 to 11 years old. Children were randomly allocated to a training group with feedback or a control group undertaking the training without feedback. A new version of the Scrambled Sentences measure was used to investigate if the effects of training could be generalised. Self-report and parent-report measures were used, with interpretation bias, anxiety and mood measured at pre-training, post-training and a one-week follow-up. Results showed that children in the training group made significantly fewer negative interpretations and reductions in self-reported social anxiety symptoms following training, in comparison to the control group. Symptoms of depression showed no change for either of the groups, suggesting the training paradigm was specifically targeting social anxiety. Similar trends were observed in parents' reported symptoms of their child's anxiety and depression scores; however effect sizes were much smaller. The effects of training on interpretation bias were maintained , with those in the training group continuing to make fewer negative interpretations at the one-week follow-up. The effects of training on interpretation bias were not generalised to the new Scrambled Sentences measure. The study supports the use of CBM-I paradigms in children and suggests further research to develop successful interventions for prevention and treatment. The study additionally highlights parent's limited awareness of their children's social anxiety, suggesting the need for more psycho-education for parents and teachers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available