Relationship between depression and cognitive reappraisal in 8-12 years old children: The mediating role of attention bias toward sad expression

Ni ZHANG, Wen LIU, Fang LIU, Xin GUO
2022 Acta Psychologica Sinica  
As a typical negative emotion, depression significantly affects the development of an individual's cognitive, emotional, and social functions. Cognitive impairment is common in depressed individuals with its main characteristic being emotional disorder. Based on Beck's cognitive theory of depression and Gross's progress model of emotion regulation, the current study explored the relationship between depression and cognitive reappraisal strategies and its mechanism in children aged 8~12 years.
more » ... udy 1a measured depression, anxiety, and the tendency of daily using cognitive reappraisal strategy in 504 children through a questionnaire. After controlling gender, age and anxiety, the relationship between childhood depression and the tendency of using cognitive reappraisal was investigated. Following the suspected depression screening criteria, Study 1b selected 43 children as the high depression group from Study 1a and matched them with another 43 children as the low depression group. There was no difference in gender, age, and anxiety level between the two groups. Then a behavioral experiment was conducted on these 86 children to measure the ability of using cognitive reappraisal. The purpose was to explore the effect of childhood depression on the ability. Study 2 further explored this topic by randomly selecting 90 children and assessing their depression, the tendency and the ability using cognitive reappraisal, and attention bias to emotional faces combined with eye movement technology. The purpose is to investigate the role of attention bias in the relationship between depression and the two aspects of cognitive reappraisal. The results showed that: (1) depression has significant negative association with the use tende ncy of using cognitive reappraisal among 8-12 years old children; (2) for the reappraisal effect of the up -regulation of positive emotion in children, the main effects of depression, gender, and the interaction between them are not significant; for the reappraisal effect of the down-regulation of negative emotion, the main effect of depression was significant, but the main effects of gender and depression-gender interaction were not significant; (3) depression has significant positive association with total gazing time bias score of sad faces, and the total gazing time bias score of sad faces played a mediating role between children's depression and the tendency of using cognitive reappraisal. The hypotheses of this study were well verified by these results. The present study revealed the influence of depression on cognitive and emotional functions among school-age children, and also supported the view of previous studies that the attentional disengagement of sad emotional stimuli is the attention bias component that more closely related to depression, rather than the original attentional orientation. In addition, depression can indirectly influence the daily use of cognitive reappraisal strategy in children through the attention bias for sad expression. Key words children, depression, the tendency of using cognitive reappraisal, the ability of using cognitive reappraisal, attention bias to sad faces
doi:10.3724/sp.j.1041.2022.00025 fatcat:t5l4kyttebbsbl5vwsznjxsxp4