Sex differences in interpretation bias in adolescents
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Interpretation biases, in which ambiguous information is interpreted negatively, have been hypothesized to place adolescent females at greater risk of developing anxiety and mood disorders than same-aged males. We tested the hypothesis that adolescent girls interpret ambiguous scenarios more negatively, and/or less positively, than same-aged males using the Adolescent Interpretation and Belief Questionnaire (N = 67, 11–15 years old). We also tested whether adolescent girls and boys differed in judging positive or negative interpretations to be more believable and whether the scenario content (social vs. non-social) affected any sex difference in interpretation bias. The results showed that girls had higher average negative interpretation scores than boys, with no sex differences in positive interpretation scores. Girls and boys did not differ on which interpretation they found to be most believable. Both sexes reported that positive interpretations were less likely to come to mind, and were less believable, for social than for non-social scenarios. These results provide preliminary evidence for sex differences in interpretation biases in adolescence and support the hypothesis that social scenarios are a specific source of anxiety to this age group. A greater understanding of the aetiology of interpretation biases will potentially enhance sex- and age-specific interventions for anxiety and mood disorders.
Gluck , R , Lynn , D A , Dritschel , B & Brown , G R 2014 , ' Sex differences in interpretation bias in adolescents ' , British Journal of Developmental Psychology , vol. 32 , no. 1 , pp. 116-122 . https://doi.org/10.1111/bjdp.12030
British Journal of Developmental Psychology
© 2014. The British Psychological Society. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Sex differences in interpretation bias in adolescents, Gluck, R., Lynn, D. A., Dritschel, B. & Brown, G. R. Mar 2014 In : British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 32, 1, p. 116-122, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjdp.12030. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.