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Title: Broken crayons still colour : children's threat-sensitivity, eating behaviours and adverse childhood experiences
Authors: Teo, Reena Rae Woon
Keywords: Social sciences::Psychology
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Abstract: Beyond normative levels, threat-sensitivity exhaust children’s coping abilities, disrupting facial-information processing and socioemotional functioning—a vital role in the development and maintenance of eating pathologies. Innately sensitive to angry-faces, a threatening phenomenon known as anger-superiority-effect—consistently misperceiving others as threatening heightens sensitivity to perceived/actual social exclusion, difficulties in socioemotional interactions and threat-induced eating behaviours that affects physical and psychological well-being. Yet, differences exist in intensities of facial expressions before it is deemed threatening, sensitivity in interpreting social situations and inferring inclusionary statuses. Considering subjective Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)—specifically, living with mothers with mental illnesses, child maltreatment or household dysfunction, threat-sensitivity differs. Mothers are primary sources of socialization that shapes children’s experiences and nutrition, thus this analysis further examined maternal mental health; State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI-II), as ACEs that influence children’s threat-sensitivity and eating behaviours after social exclusion. Methods. Participants were 487 mother-child (8.5YO) dyads employed by Agency of Science and Technology (A*STAR), Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcome (GUSTO), an on-going 12-year longitudinal study. Threat-sensitivity was assessed using (1) Facial Perception Task—Varying Emotions (VE), (2) Needs-Threat questionnaire and Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS-C) after Cyberball—a virtual ball-tossing game that manipulates social exclusion and (3) Calorie-consumption through Snack Task thereafter. Findings revealed significant associations between sensitivity to angry-faces, social exclusion, and subsequent increased calorie-consumption. Predictions were also consistent with mother’s mental health, especially anxieties and ACEs that influenced children’s sensitivity to angry-faces and social exclusion. Keywords: angry faces, threat sensitivity, threatening signals, social exclusion, maternal depression, anxiety, eating behaviours, eating psychopathologies, eating disorders, adverse childhood experiences, maltreatment, household dysfunction
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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