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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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180. Main effect and interactive associations between anxiety and maltreatment on impulsivity.

Inhibitory control and impulsivity (IC/I) are associated with multiple adverse outcomes and multiple factors are associated with these constructs. Child maltreatment is consistently associated with poorer IC/I. However, the relationship between anxiety and IC/I has been mixed. This project examined whether the mixed findings between anxiety and IC/I may be explained when adversity is considered as a moderator. Participants were 219 children (M = 10.76, SD = 1.53, 57% female). IC/I was measured using the Go-No-Go (GNG) task and self-report measures. Anxiety and childhood maltreatment were measured using self-report measures. We found no significant interactions between youth anxiety and maltreatment for any measure of IC/I. Moreover, we found no main effects for relationships between youth anxiety and maltreatment and GNG performance. However, youth abuse and neglect were associated with self-reported IC (b = -.15, SE = .05, t = -3.11, p < .01). These results suggest that adversity, but neither anxiety or their interaction, is associated with impulsivity. Further work is needed to examine additional constructs that moderate the relationship between anxiety and IC/I, as well as consider additional conceptualizations of IC/I, including neural function.

Karina Guerra-Guzman
Temple University

Thomas Olino
Temple University

Jason Chein
Temple University


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