People differ in the ability to control what they pay attention to, especially when they experience emotional distress. Drs. Bardeen and Fergus previously identified this difference in executive attention as a potentially important variable for understanding how posttraumatic stress develops and is maintained. This research study further supports those prior collaborative research findings by indicating that stronger executive attention may buffer against the development of posttraumatic stress among individuals with existing vulnerability (in this case, a proneness to experience anxiety). Strengthening executive attention may be important for reducing one’s vulnerability to posttraumatic stress following trauma exposure.
Read the full paper: Clayson, K. A., Bardeen, J. R., Dolan, S. L., & Fergus, T. A. (in press). Executive attention moderates the effect of trait anxiety on hyperarousal symptoms. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. doi:10.1080/16506073.2018.1506819
Photo by: Alan Levine