Date of Award

8-1-2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

DiLalla, Lisabeth

Abstract

This study explored the relationship between anxiety and the social information processing (SIP) model. Children’s responses to several stages of the SIP model were assessed after children had undergone anxious mood induction procedures, and similarities and differences between anxious and aggressive children were examined. Furthermore, temperament and heritability were investigated in relation to anxiety and stages of the SIP model. Data were collected from 45 families within the Southern Illinois Twins/Triplets and Siblings Study (SITSS). Results showed that children’s anxiety was related to generating avoidant responses in one stage of the SIP model, whereas children’s aggression was not significantly associated with any SIP stage. Children’s worried and angry mood states predicted avoidant and aggressive responses, respectively. Temperament was not significantly related to anxiety or stages of the SIP model. Lastly, there was evidence of heritability for child-rated anxiety, but not for parent-rated anxiety or stages of the SIP model. Overall, this study provides important information about possible contributors to children’s maladaptive social behavior.

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