The beneficial effects of a positive attention bias amongst children with a history of psychosocial deprivation

Citation:

Troller-Renfree, S., McLaughlin, K. A., Sheridan, M. A., Nelson, C. A., Zeanah, C. H., & Fox, N. A. (2017). The beneficial effects of a positive attention bias amongst children with a history of psychosocial deprivation. Biological Psychology , 122, 110โ€“120.
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Abstract:

Children raised in institutions experience psychosocial deprivation that has detrimental influences on attention and mental health. The current study examined patterns of attention biases in children from institutions who were randomized at approximately 21.6 months to receive either a high-quality foster care intervention or care-as-usual. At age 12, children performed a dot-probe task and indices of attention bias were calculated. Additionally, children completed a social stress paradigm and cortisol reactivity was computed. Children randomized into foster care (N=40) exhibited an attention bias toward positive stimuli but not threat, whereas children who received care-as-usual (N=40) and a never-institutionalized comparison group (N=47) showed no bias. Stability of foster care placement was related to positive bias, while instability of foster care placement was related to threat bias. The magnitude of the positive bias was associated with fewer internalizing problems and better coping mechanisms. Within the foster care group, positive attention bias was related to less blunted cortisol reactivity.

Last updated on 09/12/2018