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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2007 Sep;48(9):863-71.

Specificity of facial expression labeling deficits in childhood psychopathology.

Author information

  • 1Mood and Anxiety Program (MAP), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Bethesda, MD, USA. amandaguyer@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We examined whether face-emotion labeling deficits are illness-specific or an epiphenomenon of generalized impairment in pediatric psychiatric disorders involving mood and behavioral dysregulation.

METHOD:

Two hundred fifty-two youths (7-18 years old) completed child and adult facial expression recognition subtests from the Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Accuracy (DANVA) instrument. Forty-two participants had bipolar disorder (BD), 39 had severe mood dysregulation (SMD; i.e., chronic irritability, hyperarousal without manic episodes), 44 had anxiety and/or major depressive disorders (ANX/MDD), 35 had attention-deficit/hyperactivity and/or conduct disorder (ADHD/CD), and 92 were controls. Dependent measures were number of errors labeling happy, angry, sad, or fearful emotions.

RESULTS:

BD and SMD patients made more errors than ANX/MDD, ADHD/CD, or controls when labeling adult or child emotional expressions. BD and SMD patients did not differ in their emotion-labeling deficits.

CONCLUSIONS:

Face-emotion labeling deficits differentiate BD and SMD patients from patients with ANX/MDD or ADHD/CD and controls. The extent to which such deficits cause vs. result from emotional dysregulation requires further study.

PMID:
17714371
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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