Dr Helen Dodd, University of Reading
Cognitive biases and anxiety in young children
Extensive research has examined the association between anxiety and cognitive biases such as attention bias to threat and interpretation bias. Most of this research focuses on adults or older children and there is very little developmental research considering when these biases first become linked to anxiety and whether the biases play a causal role in the development of anxiety in children. In this talk, I will describe a range of studies my group have conducted to try and evaluate attention and interpretation biases in young children and to assess whether these biases may play a causal role in anxiety. This will include my most recent work where I have evaluated whether attention bias to threat predicts trajectories of anxiety over the transition to school period in 4 year olds.