Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
Dev Sci. 2010 Jan 1;13(1):201-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00874.x.

The development of skin conductance fear conditioning in children from ages 3 to 8 years.

Author information

  • 1Departments of Criminology, McNeil Building, Suite 483, University of Pennsylvania, 3718 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6286, USA. yugao@sas.upenn.edu

Abstract

Although fear conditioning is an important psychological construct implicated in behavioral and emotional problems, little is known about how it develops in early childhood. Using a differential, partial reinforcement conditioning paradigm, this longitudinal study assessed skin conductance conditioned responses in 200 children at ages 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 years. Results demonstrated that in both boys and girls: (1) fear conditioning increased across age, particularly from ages 5 to 6 years, (2) the three components of skin conductance fear conditioning that reflect different degrees of automatic and controlled cognitive processes exhibited different developmental profiles, and (3) individual differences in arousal, orienting, and the unconditioned response were associated with individual differences in conditioning, with the influence of orienting increasing at later ages. This first longitudinal study of the development of skin conductance fear conditioning in children both demonstrates that children as young as age 3 years evidence fear conditioning in a difficult acquisition paradigm, and that different sub-components of skin conductance conditioning have different developmental trajectories.

PMID:
20121876
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2818004
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (2)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Blackwell Publishing Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk