Emotional reasoning and parent-based reasoning in non-clinical children, and their prospective relationships with anxiety symptoms

M (Mattijn) Morren, PEHM Muris, M Kindt, M van den Hout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Emotional and parent-based reasoning refer to the tendency to rely on personal or parental anxiety response information rather than on objective danger information when estimating the dangerousness of a situation. This study investigated the prospective relationships of emotional and parent-based reasoning with anxiety symptoms in a sample of non-clinical children aged 8-14 years (n = 122). Children completed the anxiety subscales of the Revised Children's Anxiety and Depression Scale (Muris et al. Clin Psychol Psychother 9:430-442, 2002) and provided danger ratings of scenarios that systematically combined objective danger and objective safety information with anxiety-response and positive-response information. These measurements were repeated 10 months later (range 8-11 months). Emotional and parent-based reasoning effects emerged on both occasions. In addition, both effects were modestly stable, but only in case of objective safety. Evidence was found that initial anxiety levels were positively related to emotional reasoning 10 months later. In addition, initial levels of emotional reasoning were positively related to anxiety at a later time, but only when age was taken into account. That is, this relationship changed with increasing age from positive to negative. No significant prospective relationships emerged between anxiety and parent-based reasoning. As yet the clinical implications of these findings are limited, although preliminary evidence indicates that interpretation bias can be modified to decrease anxiety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-367
Number of pages17
JournalChild Psychiatry & Human Development
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Research programs

  • ESSB PSY

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