Attention bias to emotional faces in young children exposed to intimate partner violence

Swartz, J.R., Graham-Bermann, S.A., Mogg, Karin, Bradley, B.P. and Monk, C.S. (2010) Attention bias to emotional faces in young children exposed to intimate partner violence. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 4, (2), 109-122. (doi:10.1080/19361521.2011.573525).


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Children exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) are at increased risk for negative mental health outcomes, including the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Little is known about the cognitive mechanisms that mediate the development of PTSD after IPV exposure. The goal of the current study was to test whether attention bias to threat was associated with a diagnosis of PTSD in young children (4 to 6 years old) exposed to IPV. The probe detection task, which uses reaction times in response to probes to assess attention orientation to emotional faces, was administered to IPV-exposed children to measure their attention bias to angry and happy faces, relative to neutral faces. The results indicated that IPV-exposed children with PTSD had greater attention bias toward angry faces than IPV-exposed children without PTSD. This suggests that attention bias to threat is associated with the development of PTSD in children exposed to IPV.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/19361521.2011.573525
ISSNs: 1936-153X (print)
1936-1521 (electronic)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Psychology > Division of Clinical Neuroscience
ePrint ID: 162357
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
19 August 2010In press
25 May 2011Published
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2010 13:31
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:28

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