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Title: Investigating cognitive biases in adolescents with externalising difficulties
Author: Kelly, Jennifer
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 4114
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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• Cognitive biases of interpretation refer to patterns of thinking that are negatively biased. In the adult literature, cognitive biases are reported to be associated with psychopathology and are considered to be maintenance factor for a number of mental health problems. • Challenging unhelpful cognitive biases is a key focus of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), an intervention used to treat a variety of symptoms of psychopathology in both adults and youth. Therefore, understanding the presence of cognitive biases across different groups could have treatment implications. Research investigating cognitive biases in adults has informed the development of CBT interventions. These interventions have subsequently been applied to adolescents. • Adolescence is a period of unique developmental and endocrinological change. To account for developmental differences, cognitive biases in this group should be researched independently of children and adults. Understanding the presence of cognitive biases in this group could inform more developmentally appropriate treatments, including CBT adaptations. • The majority of research investigating cognitive biases in adolescents has predominantly focused on those experiencing internalising difficulties such as anxiety and depression. • Externalising disorders are the most common form of psychopathology affecting adolescents and have a detrimental impact on both the individual and society. Those experiencing these difficulties are more likely to have on-going mental health problems in adulthood as well as poorer outcomes in terms of wellbeing, educational level, substance misuse and are more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system. • Recently, Cognitive Bias Modification of Interpretation Training has been developed which focuses on altering cognitive biases. CBM-I was initially used with adults but has recently been extended for use with young people. However, the evidence for its efficacy appears to be mixed. Previous meta-analyses of these studies have combined CBM-I with another training and have also included studies with children. • Synthesising the studies that have been conducted specifically investigating CBM-I training with adolescents may provide an insight into the clinical implications of training for this group. • Understanding the presence of cognitive biases amongst adolescents with externalising difficulties could have implications regarding the use of CBM-I with this group.
Supervisor: Pote, Helen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available