Considerable interest has recently been directed at the relationship between coping styles and depression. However, a systematic. State anxiety was measured in both groups using the STAI-S questionnaire right Potential explanations regarding the lack of effect of trait anxiety on state relationship between anxiety sensitivity and anxiety and depression symptoms?. In humans, anxiety trait is a well-known risk factor to develop depression, and that this a priori high anxiety-related phenotype is predictive of differential vulnerability . State anxiety can be defined as a transitory emotional state consisting of.
Whereas Attention Control Theory focuses on the ways in which more trait-like aspects of anxiety impair executive processes, individuals may also experience mood or state-related anxiety which could theoretically either impair, or alternately, facilitate EF. On the one hand, state anxiety could function similarly to trait anxiety and lead to decrements in EF. Consistent with this hypothesis, state anxiety has been related to deficits in attention shifting and working memory in a context of social evaluation Visu-Petra et al.
On the other hand, a heightened bottom-up process of alerting attention, which has been associated with state anxiety Pacheco-Unguetti et al. Yet others have found support for a third alternative, that there is no relation of state anxiety to inhibitory control as measured by interference on a traditional version of the Stroop task Visu-Petra, et al.
Thus, the current adult literature does not conclusively support a single hypothesis of the relation between state anxiety and EF. In children, studies examining relations between anxiety and EF are few in number and most of the literature tends to use only one EF task and focus on only one aspect of EF, namely, working memory. All of these samples, however, were fairly small and a number of other studies have offered contrasting evidence.
Additionally, only one study assessed state anxiety and found that children with higher state anxiety took longer to perform the working memory tasks Hadwin et al. Some preliminary evidence for relations of anxiety to other aspects of EF comes from two additional studies. Thus, the aim of this study is to fill this empirical gap by examining relations of state and trait anxiety to performance on EF tasks in a large sample of low-income children.
In order to more rigorously test the relation of anxiety to EF, the current study uses two direct assessments of EF in order to determine whether effects are consistent across tasks.
Trait and State Anxiety: Relations to Executive Functioning in an at Risk Sample
We chose the Stroop task and the Hearts and Flowers task in order to include measures that went beyond working memory skills to also tap inhibitory control and set-shifting aspects of EF. In keeping with prior research with adults, our first hypothesis was that higher levels of trait anxiety would interfere with higher-order cognitive function among children ages 9 to 12, as reflected by lower performance on multiple measures of EF.
Given mixed results in the prior adult literature and a paucity of research with children, we had no specific hypotheses for the relation of state anxiety to performance on the two EF tasks.
As discussed above, both positive and negative relations of state anxiety to EF constitute plausible hypotheses. Classrooms were assigned in 2 cohorts and were followed up when the majority of children in the sample were enrolled in kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, and 5th grades.
At the 5th grade follow up, parents completed a series of questionnaires including demographic information. Children individually participated in a minute battery of direct assessments during the regular school day. Assessments were administered in the following order: Measures Income to needs ratio Parents reported monthly household income as well as the number of people living in the household.
The income-to-needs ratio was then calculated according to established guidelines. The Trait scale measures longer-term trait anxiety which has to do with how the child generally feels. The State scale examines the shorter-term state anxiety that is commonly specific to situations. This method is equivalent to replacing missing item-responses with the mean response for each child and allowed us to calculate scores even for those who completed most but not all of the subscale 29 children on the State subscale and 17 children on the Trait subscale.
The first 12 trials were only hearts trials, the next 12 trials were only flowers trials, and the next 33 trials were mixed hearts and flowers. Stimuli were presented for ms with an interstimulus interval of ms. Trials were excluded from calculation of latency and accuracy aggregates if the response latency was less than ms as this indicates that participants were responding before they could have consciously seen the stimulus.
Incorrect responses were also excluded from the calculation of latency aggregates. Accuracy aggregates were calculated as percent correct on valid trials. Mean latencies for each trial type were calculated by averaging the latency to respond across all trials of a given type. In order to control for baseline reaction times, we created a difference score by subtracting mean reaction time on the hearts only trials from mean reaction time on the mixed trials.
A lower difference score is indicative of higher EF. This score provides a measure of EF that captures all three components of working memory, inhibitory control, and attention set shifting. In the Stroop task Stroop,participants are instructed to name the color of the ink in which stimuli are presented. The control condition consists of neutral words or non-words and provides a baseline for assessing the accuracy and speed with which participants carry out the basic task of naming the ink color.
State anxiety is defined as an unpleasant emotional arousal in face of threatening demands or dangers. A cognitive appraisal of threat is a prerequisite for the experience of this emotion Lazarus, Trait anxiety, on the other hand, reflects the existence of stable individual differences in the tendency to respond with state anxiety in the anticipation of threatening situations.
Moreover, at the level of both state and trait anxiety, a further distinction has been made between worry and emotionality Spielberger, Worry refers to the cognitive component of the anxiety experience.
Individuals respond to threat with worries about the imminent danger and their perceived lack of competence to counteract the threat. Emotionality, on the other hand, refers to the perceived arousal component of the anxiety experience. Individuals experience sweating, headache, nervosity, and other bodily reactions.Anxiety, stress and performance
Although these two components are usually present at the same time to some degree, they are only poorly to moderately related with each other. Moreover, they differ in terms of their behavioral consequences. Worry is substantially related to performance impairment whereas emotionality is almost unrelated to it. Individuals who do not feel competent to cope with challenging demands, harbor self-doubts and worry.
Thus, they are more anxious.
However, the construct of depression is clearly distinct from the construct of anxiety, since the latter is a response to perceived threat whereas the former is a response to perceived harm or loss Lazarus, A stress response may include anxiety but not necessarily so Endler, Stress is commonly understood in one of three ways: According to the first view, anxiety follows the critical event e.
According to the second view, anxiety is part of the response pattern. According to the third view, anxiety is an accompanying emotion. Due to the many different conceptualizations of anxiety, it does not come as a surprise to find several thousand publications that seem to contradict each other. This does not mean that it is an ideal measure but it is the most frequently used scale in research world-wide, and no other measure has received as many foreign language adaptations and citations in the last three decades.
Thus, it is the standard in the field. The self-report inventory consists of 20 items to assess state anxiety, and another 20 items to assess trait anxiety. These two parts differ in the item wording, in the response format intensity vs. Relation to SES Trait anxiety is on average higher among lower social class individuals than among middle class individuals Lewis, ; Lenzi et al.
Relation to Health Trait anxiety has been found related to health. However, the association between these two variables is much more complex.
Trait and State Anxiety: Relations to Executive Functioning in an at Risk Sample
Anxiety can be the cause of illness, or anxiety can be an effect of illness. This is usually labelled "somatization. In addition to somatization, another effect of anxiety is health risk behavior. Anxious individuals delay health care seeking, they avoid screenings that might produce unfavorable or threatening information. This is the case, for example, in HIV testing or mammography screenings.
A third effect of anxiety lies in self-reports of ill health.
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Anxious individuals complain more frequently about ill health, they seek medical attention and put a strain on their social networks and on the health care system. For example, they report more symptoms allegedly due to dental amalgam fillings. Stress leads to elevated levels of state anxiety and blood pressure, disposing patients, in turn, to worse conditions.