ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 7, Issue 1, 110-128, 2016
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Anxiety, Attachment & Attention: The influence of adult attachment style on attentional biases of anxious individuals.

Authors
  Yulisha Byrow - Centre for Emotional Health, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
  Suzanne Broeren - Centre for Emotional Health, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
  Peter de Lissa - ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University,Sydney, Australia.
  Lorna Peters - Centre for Emotional Health, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

Volume 7, Issue 1, 2016, Pages 110-128
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5127/jep.046714

Abstract
The vigilance-avoidance model of attention, which proposes that anxious individuals will initially be vigilant towards, and subsequently will avoid, threatening stimuli (Mogg, Bradley, deBono & Painter, 1997) has received inconsistent support (Armstrong & Olatunji, 2012). Given that attention biases have been identified in studies examining adult attachment style (Dewitte & De Houwer, 2008), the aim of this study is to examine whether adult attachment style influences the relationship between anxiety and attention biases. The present study used a passive viewing eyetracking task to examine the effect of anxiety and attachment style on attention to emotional images on initial presentation and over time. Participants were randomly allocated to receive either an anxiety induction (speech task) or not and viewed pairs of images (an emotional (either happy or angry) and neutral face) presented for 1.5 seconds. The results indicate that those exposed to the speech task who scored high on the avoidant attachment dimension were more likely to avoid attending to the emotional (angry and happy) stimuli initially and maintained this pattern of attention over the stimulus presentation time. While attachment avoidance moderated the relationship between attention and anxiety, an anxious attachment style did not have a significant effect. Thus, adult attachment style is an important individual difference to consider within the context of anxiety and attention biases.

Table of Contents
Introduction
Method
 Participants
 Materials
  Measures of Anxiety.
  Measures of Attachment Style.
  Other Variables.
 Procedure
  Attachment Prime.
  Eye-tracking task.
  Eye-tracking Data Analysis
  Statistical Analysis
Results
 Descriptive Measures
 Manipulation Check
  Anxiety induction task.
  Attachment prime.
  Vigilance for Threat
  Time Course of Attention
Discussion
References

Correspondence to
Yulisha Byrow, PhD candidate, Centre for Emotional Health, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University NSW 2109, AUSTRALIA.

Keywords
anxiety; attention bias; adult attachment; time course; eye-tracking

Dates
Received 31 Dec 2014; Revised 20 Jul 2015; Accepted 27 Jul 2015; In Press 5 Feb 2016









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