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Negative parental emotional environment increases the association between childhood behavioural problems and impaired recognition of negative facial expressions

Burley, Daniel T., Hobson, Christopher W., Adegboye, Dolapo, Shelton, Katherine H. and van Goozen, Stephanie H. M. 2021. Negative parental emotional environment increases the association between childhood behavioural problems and impaired recognition of negative facial expressions. Development and Psychopathology 10.1017/S0954579420002072
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Abstract

Impaired facial emotion recognition is a transdiagnostic risk factor for a range of psychiatric disorders. Childhood behavioral difficulties and parental emotional environment have been independently associated with impaired emotion recognition; however, no study has examined the contribution of these factors in conjunction. We measured recognition of negative (sad, fear, anger), neutral, and happy facial expressions in 135 children aged 5–7 years referred by their teachers for behavioral problems. Parental emotional environment was assessed for parental expressed emotion (EE) – characterized by negative comments, reduced positive comments, low warmth, and negativity towards their child – using the 5-minute speech sample. Child behavioral problems were measured using the teacher-informant Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Child behavioral problems and parental EE were independently associated with impaired recognition of negative facial expressions specifically. An interactive effect revealed that the combination of both factors was associated with the greatest risk for impaired recognition of negative faces, and in particular sad facial expressions. No relationships emerged for the identification of happy facial expressions. This study furthers our understanding of multidimensional processes associated with the development of facial emotion recognition and supports the importance of early interventions that target this domain.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Psychology
Additional Information: This article was (co-)authored by Cardiff NDAU researchers
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0954-5794
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 November 2020
Date of Acceptance: 4 November 2020
Last Modified: 06 May 2021 14:04
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/136144

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