Evidence for retarded extinction of aversive learning in anxious children

Liberman, Lisa C. and Lipp, Ottmar V. and Spence, Susan H. and March, Sonja (2006) Evidence for retarded extinction of aversive learning in anxious children. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44 (10). pp. 1491-1502. ISSN 0005-7967


The habituation to intense acoustic stimuli and the acquisition of differentially conditioned fear were assessed in 53 clinically anxious and 30 non-anxious control children and young adolescents. Anxious children tended to show larger electrodermal responses during habituation, but did not differ in blink startle latency or magnitude. After acquisition training, non-anxious children rated the CS+ as more fear provoking and arousing than the CS- whereas the ratings of anxious children did not differ. However, anxious children rated the CS+ as more fear provoking after extinction, a difference that was absent in non-anxious children. During extinction training, anxious children displayed larger blink magnitude facilitation during CS+ and a trend towards larger electrodermal responses, a tendency not seen in non-anxious children. These data suggest that extinction of fear learning is retarded in anxious children.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2018 01:45
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2018 01:51
Uncontrolled Keywords: fear learning; child anxiety; electrodermal responses; blink startle
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health
Funding Details:
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2005.11.004
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/33709

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