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Cognitive Processing Biases Associated With Fear of Childbirth

Beal, EM, Slade, P and Krahé, C (2023) Cognitive Processing Biases Associated With Fear of Childbirth. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 99. p. 1. ISSN 0887-6185

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Fear of childbirth (FOC) is a phobic-like response concerning the prospect of giving birth. FOC can have negative implications for women during pregnancy and can impact their birthing experience. Cognitive processing biases (e.g., difficulty disengaging from threatening information, interpreting ambiguous information as threatening, and preferentially recalling threatening content) have previously been found to maintain general anxiety and low mood. To date, there has been no research assessing these attention, interpretation, and memory biases and their relationship with FOC in pregnant women. Accordingly, in this cross-sectional study, participants who were at least 12 weeks pregnant (n = 116), recruited through a local hospital trust, completed tasks assessing attention (emotional Stroop task), interpretation (scrambled sentences test), and explicit memory (recognition task) biases with materials including FOC-related content. They also completed three separate measures of FOC and measures of low mood, general anxiety, worry, and rumination. We found that a negative interpretation bias (but not attention or explicit memory biases) was associated with higher levels of FOC. These findings indicate that women presenting with higher FOC are more likely to demonstrate negative interpretation biases for ambiguous information relating to childbirth, which may inform research developing interventions to support women presenting with FOC.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1103 Clinical Sciences; 1701 Psychology; Clinical Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Psychology (new Sep 2019)
Publisher: Elsevier
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2023 14:47
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2023 14:47
DOI or Identification number: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2023.102761
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/21426

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