International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss


Cognitive Interference for Trauma Related Word Cues in Maltreated Children: Evidence from the “Emotional Stroop Task” in a Pakistani Cohirt
Dr. Farah Malik & Amara Gul, Glyn Humphreys

The study examined the sensitivity to emotional words through an ‘Emotional Stroop’ task in maltreated Pakistani children and identifying the cognitive interference for these words. A sample of 50 maltreated children with age range of 8-12 years and 50 controls was drawn from different schools and they were categorized by administering the Child Abuse Scale. The children had to identify the colors of neutral words, emotional words with non-violent associations and emotional words with violent associations. Maltreated group showed slower overall reaction times, more pronounced interference from emotional but non-violent words and extremely prolonged reaction time to emotional words with violent associations. These effects were even larger for maltreated male participants than for maltreated female participants. A similar pattern emerged on the error data. The data remained even when differences between the groups in terms of their behavioral problems, their socio-economic status and their family organization were taken into account as co-variates. Maltreated children showed a form of startle-response to emotionally violent words, blocking their response to the color. In addition to this, the maltreated children were also more affected by emotional words per se (with emotional nonviolent words compared with neutral words) than controls.

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