Attentional processes, anxiety, and the regulation of cortisol reactivity

Bradley Applehans, Linda Luecken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Attentional processing biases have been demonstrated in trait anxious individuals. The current study evaluated the interaction of trait anxiety and attentional bias in the regulation of cortisol responses to threat cues. Undergraduates ( N =63) completed a dot-probe task featuring social threat words. Trait anxiety was associated with avoidance of threat cues. Attentional avoidance predicted decreased cortisol responses at higher levels of trait anxiety, and elevated cortisol responses at lower levels of trait anxiety. The results suggest that attentional processes are involved in the regulation of physiological arousal for anxious individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-92
Number of pages12
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Attentional bias
  • Cortisol
  • Dot-probe task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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