The structure of emotion regulation strategies in adolescence: differential links to internalizing and externalizing problems

Lysanne te Brinke, ATA Menting, HD Schuiringa, J Zeman, M Dekovi?

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5 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Emotion regulation is a multi-modal construct, that includes both adaptive and maladaptive cognitive-behavioral processes. However, many classifications of regulation strategies do not take this multi-modality into account. In this study, two classification systems were integrated. Participants were 336 adolescents (56% boys, Mage = 15.41, SD = 1.45). Anger regulation strategies were measured with a questionnaire that assessed general strategies, and a vignette measure that assessed contextual strategies. Confirmatory factor analyses supported a 4-factor classification that consisted of cognitive maladaptive, behavioral maladaptive, cognitive adaptive, and behavioral adaptive strategies. The four categories of regulation strategies were differentially associated with age, and gender and psychological problem differences were found. Adolescents with internalizing problems reported using a cognitive regulation style, adolescents with externalizing problems a behavioral regulation style, and adolescents with comorbid internalizing and externalizing problems a maladaptive regulation style. These findings highlight the multi-modal nature of emotion regulation and may provide opportunities for treatment modifications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-553
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Development
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes

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