ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 7, Issue 3, 466-483, 2016
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Attentional biases to emotional faces in adolescents with conduct disorder, anxiety disorders, and comorbid conduct and anxiety disorders.

  Roxanna Short - Department of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  Wendy Adams - Department of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  Matthew Garner - Department of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  Edmund Sonuga-Barke - Department of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  Graeme Fairchild - Department of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK

Volume 7, Issue 3, 2016, Pages 466-483

Biases in emotion processing have been identified in both conduct disorder (CD) and anxiety disorders (ADs). Given the significant comorbidity between these conditions, it is important to examine whether individuals with comorbid CD+ADs display a combination of the biases observed in the non-comorbid versions of these disorders or their own distinctive pattern. We measured attentional biases and vigilance towards, and disengagement from, angry, fearful and happy faces in adolescents with CD-only (n = 31), ADs-only (n = 23), comorbid CD+ADs (n = 20) and controls (n = 30), using standard (500 ms) and masked, brief (17 ms) presentation versions of a visual-probe task. Adolescents with ADs displayed faster reaction times to happy, compared to fearful or angry, faces (irrespective of probe position). In addition to having longer reaction times in general, the CD-only and ADs-only groups showed decreased vigilance towards, and delayed disengagement from, emotional faces compared to the comorbid CD+ADs and control groups. These results suggest that CD and ADs interact in terms of their effects on vigilance and disengagement, such that attentional biases are attenuated, rather than exacerbated, in individuals with comorbid CD+ADs.

Table of Contents
 Ethical approval
  Clinical assessment:
  CU traits:
  Trait anxiety:
  Current depressive symptoms:
  Assessment of attentional biases to threat
 Data analyses
  Group characteristics:
  Awareness measure:
  Visual Probe Tasks:
 Participant characteristics
 Exploring the impact of potential confounds
 Awareness check
 Visual Probe Results:
 Raw reaction time (RT) data
  Masked visual probe:
  Standard visual probe:
 Vigilance towards Emotional Faces
  Masked visual probe:
  Standard visual probe task:
 Disengagement from Emotional Faces:
  Masked visual probe:
  Standard visual probe:
 Strengths and limitations
Acknowledgements and funding sources

Correspondence to
Graeme Fairchild, Department of Psychology, University of Southampton, Building 44, Highfield Campus, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom.

Attentional bias, threat, emotion processing, conduct disorder, anxiety disorders, comorbidity

Received 22 Dec 2015; Revised 11 Jun 2016; Accepted 11 Jun 2016; In Press 26 Jun 2016

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