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AFFECTIVE REACTIONS TO IMAGES IN ANXIOUS CHILDREN

Vol XII, No. 1, 2012 Comments (0)

Ibolya KOTTA*, Stefan SZAMOSKÖZI
Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Abstract
In a paradigm of a three-dimensioned (valence, arousal, dominance)  affective space, the aim of the present study was to extend the use of picture  rating methodology to primary school children and to outline the specifics  of affective reactions in anxious children. Self-report measures of emotional  reactions evoked by emotion-eliciting IAPS (International Affective  Pictures System, Lang, Bradley & Cuthbert, 2005) stimuli were  administered to anxious (N = 90) and non-anxious (N = 97) children, aged  7-10 years. Results confirmed that IAPS pictures of varying valence and  arousal elicit the same patterns of subjective responses as in normal adults.  It was hypothesized that anxiety would be associated with ratings of more  negative valence, higher arousal and lower dominance of the emotioneliciting pictorial stimuli. The results supported our hypothesis only  partially. Only positive IAPS pictures could differentiate between children  with and without symptoms of anxiety. The intensity of reactions did not  differentiate between anxious and non-anxious children, but anxious  children under evaluated to valence of positive stimuli as well as their own  resources to face these positively valenced stimuli.

Keywords: affective space, emotion-eliciting stimuli, IAPS, biphasic motivation,  anxiety disorders

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