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The Efficacy of Top-down Multi-Session Attentional Control Modification for Subclinical Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Experiment
attentional control modification,subclinical generalized anxiety disorder,top-down processing,visual search task,randomized controlled experiment,
|Publication Year :||2019|
Studies have suggested that there may be at least a bidirectional causal relationship between anxiety symptoms and impairments in attentional control. Increase in top-down attentional control has been associated with anxiety reduction. Visual search task has been suggested to be effective in measuring and modifying top-down and bottom-up attentional processes; nonetheless, research has been scarce and awaits developing. The main purpose of the current study was to investigate whether visual search task with non-threat distractors could improve attentional control, decrease GAD pathology, and anxiety symptoms of subclinical GAD students. The efficacy of multi-sessional training was also investigated. Fifty-two undergraduate students with GAD-7 score equal or above 8 were recruited to participate in a 5-day session (26 participants in each group). The experimental group received feature search training, and the control group received singleton search training. Thirty non-subclinical GAD control samples (GAD-7 equal or below 7 and STAI-T equal or below 43) were also recruited. However, they only completed the pre- and post- assessments. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures were used to investigate the efficacy of the intervention. It was found that after the training sessions provided with visual search task, the level of attentional control between the experimental and control groups was significantly different at posttest: the attentional control ability of the experimental group improved while the control group worsened. Also, it was found that with increased number of sessions, the effect on attentional control became more profound. Specifically, the attention control ability of the control group became significantly worse than the non-subclinical GAD group after five sessions of training, while the experimental group showed no different from the non-subclinical GAD group. On the other hand, though participants in both the experimental and control groups had less intense anxiety symptoms at posttests, the group × time interaction was insignificant. In conclusion, the present study supported that the visual search task with non-threat distractor is efficacious for increase top-down attentional process; however, the mechanism on producing emotional change requires further research, so that it can increase the likelihood to produce desired and stable emotional adjustments.
|Appears in Collections:||心理學系|
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