Emotion regulation in adolescents with mental health problems

Henry, Julie D., Castellini, Julieta, Moses, Ernestina and Scott, James G. (2016) Emotion regulation in adolescents with mental health problems. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 38 2: 197-207. doi:10.1080/13803395.2015.1100276

Author Henry, Julie D.
Castellini, Julieta
Moses, Ernestina
Scott, James G.
Title Emotion regulation in adolescents with mental health problems
Journal name Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1744-411X
Publication date 2016-01-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/13803395.2015.1100276
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 38
Issue 2
Start page 197
End page 207
Total pages 11
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Introduction. Current literature points to a clear and consistent association between poor emotion control and psychopathology in adolescence, a critical developmental period during which most adult mental health problems emerge. However, nearly all of the studies in this literature have assessed emotion regulation in nonclinical cohorts, or indexed this construct using only self-report methodology. Method. The present study compared adolescents with a mental illness (n = 41) to demographically matched controls (n = 45) on an experimental task that required them to either suppress or amplify their emotion expressive behavior in response to images that were either negative or positive in affective valence. Results. Clinical participants (like controls) showed evidence of being able to regulate their behavioral expression of emotion, indicating that the presence of mental health problems in adolescence does not prevent a basic level of control being exercised over the emotions that are expressed to others. However, the capacity to amplify expressive behavior was reduced, particularly for negative emotions. In addition, poorer emotion regulation in the clinical group was associated with reduced quality of life. Conclusions. These data indicate that specific aspects of emotion expressive behavior are disrupted in adolescents with mental illness and are discussed in the context of theoretical models that regard emotion dysregulation as a core, transdiagnostic feature of mental illness.
Keyword Emotion regulation
Expressive behavior
Transdiagnostic model
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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