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Title: Anxiety-related cognitions in close relationships
Author: Ooi, Jinnie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 7125
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2015
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Etiological models of anxiety have increasingly emphasized the role of information processing biases, and there is evidence that children, as well as adults exhibit these biases. However, to date, little is known about the origins of these biases. This thesis aims to explore whether interpretation bias and fear beliefs might be acquired from significant others in close relationships (i.e., parents, friends and romantic partners). It also considers a range of developmental stages to identify potential sources of influence that may play a role in the acquisition and/or maintenance of information processing biases across development. The thesis aims are realised across four studies that explore shared anxiety-related cognitions in distinct close relationships. The main findings of this thesis are summarized as follows. First, there is some evidence that individuals in close relationships exhibit similar patterns of anxiety-related cognitions, namely in close friends in middle childhood, as well as in parents and their young adult children. Second, there is some indication that anxietyrelated cognitions might be acquired via the verbal information pathway from significant others in close relationships, such as from parents, close friends, and romantic partners. Third, factors such as the difference in anxiety levels between individuals in close relationships, relationship closeness, and attachment do not appear to moderate the transmission of anxiety-related cognitions in close relationships. Finally, results showed a significant relationship between anxiety-related cognitions and anxiety in middle childhood and young adulthood, but not in early childhood, indicating that interpretation bias may initially develop during the preschool years and may not show an association with anxiety until middle childhood. Taken together, these results indicate that anxiety-related cognitions can be transmitted within close relationships, and that verbal information appears to be a viable pathway in which such cognitions may be transmitted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available