Date of Award

12-1-2016

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kertz, Sarah

Abstract

An attentional bias to threatening stimuli is associated with greater anxiety in children (see Puliafico & Kendall, 2006 for a full review). Attentional control is one factor that may influence the relationship between attentional bias and anxiety in children (Susa, Pitică, Benga, & Miclea, 2012). This current study focused on further exploring the relationship between attentional bias, attentional control, and anxiety. Participants (N = 46) completed a self-report measure of attentional control and anxiety, and an attentional bias task (i.e., the Emotional Go/No-Go). Two models were examined. First, attentional control was examined as a potential moderator in the relationship between attentional bias and anxiety. Second, attentional bias was examined as a potential mediator of the relationship between attentional control and anxiety. The moderation model was significant. However, the findings were not consistent with the literature, as results indicated attentional bias was associated with anxiety only for children with higher attentional control abilities. The moderation model was further examined with different dimensions of anxiety and attentional control. The mediation model was not significant. Explanation of the findings and future directions are discussed.

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