Cristina MOGOAŞE, Ioana R. PODINĂ*, Mădălina SUCALĂ ,Anca DOBREAN
Babeş–Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
The purpose of this study was to investigate the unique contribution of irrational beliefs and negative bias interpretations in predicting child anxiety, based on cognitive models of anxiety. We used a cross-sectional design. Five hundred seventy one volunteers (M age = 13.008, SD = 1.192; 53.73% girls) completed measures of irrationality, negative bias interpretations, and anxiety. In line with theoretical assumptions, our results showed that negative interpretation bias acted as a partial mediator between irrational beliefs and child anxiety, indirect effect = .025, SE = .008, 95% CI = [.012; .045]. Noteworthy, irrationality remained a significant predictor of child anxiety level when controlling for negative bias interpretation, B = .211, SE = .024, p < .001. These results point to the importance of irrational beliefs in relation to child anxiety, beyond negative bias interpretation. Therefore, we suggest that cognitive bias modification procedures, designed to modify negative interpretation biases, could benefit from targeting irrational beliefs.
Keywords: irrational beliefs, negative bias interpretation, child anxiety, cognitive bias modification