Date of Award

8-1-2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kertz, Sarah

Abstract

Attentional control and attentional bias are important factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007; Van Bockstaele et al., 2014). However, the effects of attentional control and attentional bias on the relationship between anxiety and stress response is understudied. Further, much of the research to date has relied on self-report measures of attentional control and stress response, representing a significant limitation. The current study addressed these problems and examined the relationship between attentional control, attentional bias, anxiety, and stress response. First, this study examined the relationship between self-report and performance-based measures of attentional control and stress response with anxiety. Study results found poor agreement between attentional control measures, good convergence between self-reported distress and physiological distress, and a negative association between anxiety and self-reported attentional control and stress response. Second, results showed that attentional control and attentional bias were not significant moderators of the relationship between anxiety and stress response. Explanation of study findings and future directions are discussed.

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