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Fall 2017

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Winter 2016

    Winter 2016: Energy Evolution

    From carbon dioxide conversion to landfill mining, researchers at UTA are seeking viable alternative energy options.

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.

Fret Threat

Paying Attention to Anxiety

Adolescents with low attention control may be more susceptible to anxiety disorders 

Paying Attention to Anxiety

A duo of psychologists has discovered that adolescents with low attention control may be more likely to develop anxiety disorders. In turn, this could leave them vulnerable to issues like depression, drug dependence, suicidal behavior, and underachievement in education.

Catherine Spann, a researcher at UTA’s LINK lab and recent Ph.D. graduate, along with former Assistant Professor Jeffrey Gagne studied 440 twin pairs with a mean age of 13.6 years old to track the effects of genetic versus environmental influences on their attention levels and anxiety symptoms. Using a combination of self-ratings and parent ratings, the researchers assessed attention control and scores for obsessive, social, separation, and generalized anxiety symptoms.

They found that genetic influences were significant and overlapping across attention control and all anxiety variables, a pattern suggesting that low attention could be a phenotypic and genetic risk factor for anxiety. Risk levels varied depending on each type of disorder, with the highest being for generalized and separation anxiety symptoms.

“Adolescence is an important development period,” says Perry Fuchs, chair of the Department of Psychology. “Better assessment of teens’ ability to concentrate could facilitate the identification of those at risk for anxiety and could also inform molecular genetic studies, which would be the logical next stage for research.”

Drs. Spann and Gagne’s work was published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence. University of Wisconsin–Madison faculty Deirdre O’Sullivan, Nicole Schmidt, and Hill Goldsmith also participated in the study, which was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health.


More articles from this issue

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