Perceived control in clinically anxious and non-anxious children indirectly measured with the Implicit Association Procedure (IAP)

S.M. Hogendoorn, L. Vervoort, L.H. Wolters, P.J.M. Prins, E. de Haan, C.A. Hartman, M.H. Nauta, F. Boer

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Background: Perceived control is thought to play an important role in the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders in children. The objective of the present study was to further investigate the Perceived Control Implicit Association Procedure (IAP, Hogendoorn et al., 2008) as an indirect measure of perceived control in children.

Methods: The IAP was completed by 136 anxiety disordered children (aged 8-18 years old, M = 12.51) and 31 non-selected children (8-15 years old, M = 11.65). A second control group of 38 non-selected children (aged 8-18 years old, M = 12.08) was used to validate the pictorial stimuli in the computer task.

Results: First, children were able to correctly classify the pictures into Control and No control categories. Second, as predicted, anxious children reported less perceived control than the control group on both the direct measure (the ACQ-C) and the indirect measure (IAP). For the No Control score however, this was only the case for children younger than twelve years old. Third, test-retest correlation in the anxious group was fair to good (ICCs .57-.58).

Conclusions: These results suggest that the perceived control IAP is still quite experimental, but could be an interesting departure point for future research on perceived control in children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-921
JournalJournal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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