Emotional and parent-based reasoning refer to the tendency to rely on personal or parental anxiety response information rather than on objective danger information when estimating the dangerousness of a situation. This study investigated the prospective relationships of emotional and parent-based reasoning with anxiety symptoms in a sample of non-clinical children aged 8-14 years (n = 122). Children completed the anxiety subscales of the Revised Children's Anxiety and Depression Scale (Muris et al. Clin Psychol Psychother 9:430-442, 2002) and provided danger ratings of scenarios that systematically combined objective danger and objective safety information with anxiety-response and positive-response information. These measurements were repeated 10 months later (range 8-11 months). Emotional and parent-based reasoning effects emerged on both occasions. In addition, both effects were modestly stable, but only in case of objective safety. Evidence was found that initial anxiety levels were positively related to emotional reasoning 10 months later. In addition, initial levels of emotional reasoning were positively related to anxiety at a later time, but only when age was taken into account. That is, this relationship changed with increasing age from positive to negative. No significant prospective relationships emerged between anxiety and parent-based reasoning. As yet the clinical implications of these findings are limited, although preliminary evidence indicates that interpretation bias can be modified to decrease anxiety.

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doi.org/10.1007/s10578-007-0091-4, hdl.handle.net/1765/15116
Child Psychiatry & Human Development
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Morren, M., Muris, P., Kindt, M., Schouten, E., & van den Hout, M. (2008). Emotional reasoning and parent-based reasoning in non-clinical children, and their prospective relationships with anxiety symptoms. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 39(4), 351–367. doi:10.1007/s10578-007-0091-4