SHENBERGER-THESIS-2020.pdf (400.29 kB)

Understanding Context-Dependent Attentional Bias to Threat in Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms

Download (400.29 kB)
thesis
posted on 01.08.2020, 00:00 by Elyse Renée Shenberger
Attentional bias to threat (AB) is a transdiagnostic deficit for many internalizing disorders including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The relationship between AB and PTS symptoms (PTSS) is robust and consistent throughout the literature, but it is unclear which specific AB is associated with PTSS. It is also possible that this relationship could be different when assessing AB during an aversive context and if the threatening stimuli that draw the attention is masked. This study used a masked dot-probe task to measure AB to angry faces in two independent samples—50 treatment-seeking participants, and a second independent sample of 98 trauma-exposed participants. Linear mixed effects models yielded an increased orienting AB in an aversive (relative to safe) context in both samples; however, PTSS did not moderate these effects in either sample. These results highlight the importance of assessing AB in varying contexts and in multiple samples of differing severity. Given prior research, these null results suggest that AB deficits in PTSD are likely due to later threat processing rather than early threat detection.

History

Advisor

Herbener, EllenShankman, Stewart

Chair

Herbener, Ellen

Department

Psychology

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

Masters

Degree name

MA, Master of Arts

Committee Member

Berenz, Erin Klumpp, Heide

Submitted date

August 2020

Thesis type

application/pdf

Language

en

Exports

Categories

Exports