The effects of trait anxiety, potentially traumatic events, and psychological adjustment on attentional threat bias in college students

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Karen Marie Shebuski (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Kia Asberg

Abstract: Attentional biases towards threatening information are considered a highly adaptive process(e.g., Boyer & Bergstrom, 2011). However, differential processing of threat as a result ofindividual differences can result in attentional mechanisms that are biased towards threateninginformation at a level that is considered maladaptive. Previous research has suggested that individuals with high levels of trait anxiety and individuals who exhibit trauma symptomatology as a result of a potentially traumatic event (PTE) exhibit this maladaptive level of attentional threat bias that may in turn result in the maintenance of anxious states and debilitating trauma symptomatology, respectively (Ehlers & Clark, 2000; Kimble et al., 2014). The present study aimed to further explore trait anxiety and trauma symptomatology as they relate to attentional threat bias by examining trait anxiety and trauma symptomatology as predictors of attentional threat bias. A non-clinical sample was given self-report measures to assess trait anxiety, PTEs, and trauma symptomatology, and completed an eye-tracking paradigm to assess attentional threat bias. Though no relationship between trait anxiety and attentional threat bias was found, results suggest a significant relationship between trauma symptomatology and attentional threat bias.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Attention -- Psychological aspects
College students -- Mental health
Threat (Psychology)
Stress (Psychology)
Psychic trauma
Post-traumatic stress disorder

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