Attentional avoidant biases as mediators in the association between experiential avoidance and blood pressure in dementia family caregivers

Marquez-Gonzalez, Maria and Cabrera, Isabel and Losada, Andres and Knight, Bob (2017) Attentional avoidant biases as mediators in the association between experiential avoidance and blood pressure in dementia family caregivers. Aging & Mental Health . ISSN 1364-6915


Objectives: Experiential avoidance in caregiving (EAC) has been found to be related with dementia family caregivers´ distress and blood pressure (BP). The association between EAC and avoidant attentional biases to emotional stimuli in dementia caregivers, and the potential mediating role of these attentional biases in the association between EAC and increased BP are explored.

Method: Seventy nine dementia family caregivers performed a dot-probe task with emotional pictures (distressing and positive) varying in content (general vs. caregiving-related (CR)) and time of exposure (100 vs. 500 ms). They also completed measures of EAC, anxiety, depression, alexithymia and rumination, and their BP was measured.

Results: EAC was associated with avoidant attentional biases to CR emotional pictures and negative pictures in general at 100 ms. Experiential Avoidance in Caregiving Questionnaire (EACQ) ‘avoidant behaviors’ and EACQ ‘intolerance of negativity’ factors were associated with diastolic and systolic BP, respectively, with attentional avoidance of CR emotional pictures (distressing and positive, respectively) mediating this association.

Conclusion: Attentional avoidance of CR emotional stimuli may be the link between EAC and increased BP, as it prevents emotional processing and facilitates the maintenance of physiological activation. EAC may pose a risk for cardiovascular disease in dementia caregivers.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2017 22:39
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2018 03:33
Uncontrolled Keywords: Experiential avoidance, attentional biases, dementia caregivers, blood pressure, dot probe task
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170201 Computer Perception, Memory and Attention
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170101 Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920202 Carer Health
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2017.1293003

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