Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared.
Specificity of facial expression labeling deficits in childhood psychopathology
Article first published online: 5 JUN 2007
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume 48, Issue 9, pages 863–871, September 2007
How to Cite
Guyer, A. E., McClure, E. B., Adler, A. D., Brotman, M. A., Rich, B. A., Kimes, A. S., Pine, D. S., Ernst, M. and Leibenluft, E. (2007), Specificity of facial expression labeling deficits in childhood psychopathology. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48: 863–871. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01758.x
- Issue published online: 9 AUG 2007
- Article first published online: 5 JUN 2007
- Manuscript accepted 22 February 2007
- Emotion recognition;
- bipolar disorder;
- emotion regulation;
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.