, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 109-122
Date: 11 Jan 2014

Attention Bias to Emotional Faces in Young Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence

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Abstract

Children exposed to intimate partner violence are at increased risk for posttraumatic stress disorder. The goal of the study was to test whether attention bias to threat was associated with a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder in young children exposed to intimate partner violence. The probe detection task, which uses reaction times in response to probes to assess attention orientation to emotional faces, was administered to intimate partner violence-exposed children to measure their attention bias to angry and happy faces, relative to neutral faces. The results indicated that violence-exposed children with posttraumatic stress disorder had greater attention bias toward angry faces than violence-exposed children without posttraumatic stress disorder. This suggests that attention bias to threat is associated with the development of posttraumatic stress disorder in children exposed to intimate partner violence.