• Threat-related attentional bias in adolescents with social phobia

      Kendall, Philip C.; Alloy, Lauren B.; Heimberg, Richard G. (Temple University. Libraries, 2008)
      The present study compared attentional disengagement from threat-related stimuli in socially phobic (SP) and non-anxiety-disordered (NAD) adolescents. The associations between trait anxiety and state anxiety and attentional bias in SP adolescents were assessed. Furthermore, the present study compared the attentional control abilities of SP and NAD adolescents. Twenty-eight SP participants aged 12-17 and 27 NAD controls, matched on age and IQ, were administered a computer task to measure attentional disengagement from threat-related words. Participants completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and subtests of the Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-ch). Mixed ANOVA analyses indicated that SP and NAD adolescents did not differ in their disengagement from threat-related stimuli. Correlational analyses indicated that state anxiety was associated with disengagement from threat, but only when SP participants with comorbid ADHD were excluded from analyses. Trait anxiety was not significantly associated with attentional disengagement from threat. Finally, SP participants performed more poorly than NAD participants on the TEA-ch subtests, indicating poorer attentional control in SP participants. These results suggest that SP adolescents experience a deficit in executive attentional skills. The clinical implications of these findings are discussed.