ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 2, Issue 4, 454-474, 2011
Abstract  E-mail Abstract   Article Purchase as PDF 
Return to Issue List 
Processing Biases for Emotional Faces in 4- to 12-Year-Old Non-Clinical Children: An Exploratory Study of Developmental Patterns and Relationships with Social Anxiety and Behavioral Inhibition

Suzanne Broeren (a), Peter Muris (a), Samantha Bouwmeester (a), Andy P. Field (b), Jessica S. Voerman (a).
(a) Institute of Psychology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
(b) School of Psychology, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, United Kingdom

Volume 2, Issue 4, 2011, Pages 454-474

The present study examined (a) processing biases for emotional facial stimuli in a sample of 355 4- to 12-year-old non-clinical children, (b) developmental patterns of such biases, and (c) to what extent biases were related to social anxiety and the temperamental trait of behavioral inhibition in children of various ages. Processing biases were assessed with a dot probe task and a dynamic emotion recognition paradigm (i.e., morph task), whereas children's levels of social anxiety and behavioral inhibition were measured by means of parent-report. Results showed that on the morph task children were generally faster in detecting happy faces compared to angry faces, and this effect was not qualified by age, social anxiety, or behavioral inhibition. Further analyses revealed no significant effect of age on bias scores. However, analyses did reveal two classes in the data with one class mainly consisting of younger children and the other class predominantly composed of older children: Younger children were in general slower, less accurate, and displayed more variance in their scores on the processing biases tasks than older children. Results of this study underline the need of the development and use of more age-appropriate, non-reaction time-based tasks for measuring processing bias in younger children.

Table of Contents
  Parent questionnaires
 Apparatus for reaction time tasks
 Dot probe task
 Morph task
 Data preparation and statistical analyses
 General findings
 Morph task.
 Dot probe task.
 Developmental patterns and anxiety/behavioral inhibition effects
  Morph task: RTs.
  Morph task: accuracy.
  Dot probe task.
  Dot probe task: happy bias score.
  Dot probe task: angry bias score.
 Relationships between the morph and dot probe task
Appendix: Example morph task digital movie

Correspondence to
Dr. Suzanne Broeren, Institute of Psychology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, Suite T12-43, P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Processing biases; developmental patterns; social anxiety; behavioral inhibition; children

Received 10 Sep 2010; Revised 16 Mar 2011; Accepted 1 Apr 2011; In Press 11 Oct 2011

Bookmark and Share

Related articles by AUTHORS
None Found

Related articles by KEYWORDS
None Found

© Copyright 2009-2016 Textrum Ltd . All rights reserved. Published in the UK. - Contact Us Advertise | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use