Attentional Bias for Cues Signaling Punishment and Reward in Adolescents: Cross-Sectional and Prognostic Associations with Symptoms of Anxiety and Behavioral Disorders

Kreuze, L. J., Jonker, N. C., Hartman, C. A., Nauta, M. H. & de Jong, P. J., 22-May-2020, In : Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 48, 8, p. 1007-1021 15 p.

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Heightened reward sensitivity has been proposed as a risk factor for developing behavioral disorders whereas heightened punishment sensitivity has been related to the development of anxiety disorders in youth. Combining a cross-sectional (n = 696, mean age = 16.14) and prospective (n = 598, mean age = 20.20) approach, this study tested the hypotheses that an attentional bias for punishing cues is involved in the development of anxiety disorders and an attentional bias for rewarding cues in the development of behavioral disorders. A spatial orientation task was used to examine the relation between an attentional bias for punishing cues and an attentional bias for rewarding cues with anxiety and behavioral problems in a subsample of a large prospective population cohort study. Our study indicates that attentional biases to general cues of punishment and reward do not seem to be important risk factors for the development of anxiety or behavioral problems respectively. It might be that attentional biases play a role in the maintenance of psychological problems. This remains open for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1007-1021
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number8
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22-May-2020


  • Anxiety, Behavioral problems, Attentional bias, Punishment sensitivity, Reward sensitivity, Young people, REVISED CHILD ANXIETY, INDIVIDUAL-LIVES SURVEY, REINFORCEMENT SENSITIVITY, DEPRESSION SCALE, INHIBITION, PREVALENCE, COHORT, ADULTS, ANGER

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