Specificity of facial expression labeling deficits in childhood psychopathology

Amanda E. Guyer, Erin B. Mcclure, Abby D. Adler, Melissa A. Brotman, Brendan A. Rich, Alane S. Kimes, Daniel S. Pine, Monique Ernst, Ellen Leibenluft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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 (7-18years 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-871
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Volume48
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Emotion recognition
  • Emotion regulation
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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