ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 2, Issue 4, 490-508, 2011
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Emotion processing in infancy: Specificity in risk for social anxiety and associations with two-year outcomes

Cathy Creswell (a), Peter Cooper (a), Andreas Giannakakis (a), Elizabeth Schofield (a), Matt Woolgar (b), and Lynne Murray (a)
(a) Winnicott Research Unit, School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading. UK.
(b) Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London. UK.

Volume 2, Issue 4, 2011, Pages 490-508

The current study examined the specificity of patterns of responding to high and low intensity negative emotional expressions of infants of mothers with social phobia, and their association with child outcomes at two years of age. Infants of mothers with social phobia, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) or no history of anxiety were shown pairs of angry and fearful emotional expressions at 10 weeks of age. Symptoms of social withdrawal, anxiety and sleep problems were assessed at two years of age. Only infants of mothers with social phobia showed a tendency to look away from high intensity fear faces; however infants of mothers with both social phobia and GAD showed a bias towards high intensity angry faces. Among the offspring of mothers with social phobia, anxiety symptoms at two years of age were associated with a preference for high intensity fear faces in infancy. The reverse pattern was found amongst the offspring of non-anxious mothers. These findings suggest a possible specific response to emotional expressions among the children of mothers with social phobia.

Table of Contents
 Responses to emotional expressions: role in the development of anxiety
 Responses to emotional expressions: specificity to social anxiety
  Responses to Emotional Expressions.
  Adjustment at 2 years of age.
 Data analysis

Correspondence to
Cathy Creswell, Winnicott Research Unit School of Psychology, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AH. UK

mother, infant, anxiety, information-processing, emotional expression, looking times

Received 1 Nov 2010; Revised 10 May 2011; Accepted 12 May 2011; In Press 11 Dec 2011

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