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The regulation of emotions in adolescents: Age differences and emotion-specific patterns

1 , 1 , 2 , *

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      Abstract

      Two experiments addressed the issue of age-related differences and emotion-specific patterns in emotion regulation during adolescence. Experiment 1 examined emotion-specific patterns in the effectiveness of reappraisal and distraction strategies in 14-year-old adolescents ( N = 50). Adolescents were instructed to answer spontaneously or to downregulate their responses by using either distraction or cognitive reappraisal strategies before viewing negative pictures and were asked to rate their emotional state after picture presentation. Results showed that reappraisal effectiveness was modulated by emotional content but distraction was not. Reappraisal was more effective than distraction at regulating fear or anxiety (threat-related pictures) but was similar to distraction regarding other emotions. Using the same paradigm, Experiment 2 examined in 12-year-old ( N = 56), 13-year-old ( N = 49) and 15-year-old adolescents ( N = 54) the age-related differences a) in the effectiveness of reappraisal and distraction when implemented and b) in the everyday use of regulation strategies using the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire. Results revealed that regulation effectiveness was equivalent for both strategies in 12-year-olds, whereas a large improvement in reappraisal effectiveness was observed in 13- and 15-year-olds. No age differences were observed in the reported use of reappraisal, but older adolescents less frequently reported using distraction and more frequently reported using the rumination strategy. Taken together, these experiments provide new findings regarding the use and the effectiveness of cognitive regulation strategies during adolescence in terms of age differences and emotion specificity.

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      Most cited references 83

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      Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.

      Little is known about lifetime prevalence or age of onset of DSM-IV disorders. To estimate lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the recently completed National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Nationally representative face-to-face household survey conducted between February 2001 and April 2003 using the fully structured World Health Organization World Mental Health Survey version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Nine thousand two hundred eighty-two English-speaking respondents aged 18 years and older. Lifetime DSM-IV anxiety, mood, impulse-control, and substance use disorders. Lifetime prevalence estimates are as follows: anxiety disorders, 28.8%; mood disorders, 20.8%; impulse-control disorders, 24.8%; substance use disorders, 14.6%; any disorder, 46.4%. Median age of onset is much earlier for anxiety (11 years) and impulse-control (11 years) disorders than for substance use (20 years) and mood (30 years) disorders. Half of all lifetime cases start by age 14 years and three fourths by age 24 years. Later onsets are mostly of comorbid conditions, with estimated lifetime risk of any disorder at age 75 years (50.8%) only slightly higher than observed lifetime prevalence (46.4%). Lifetime prevalence estimates are higher in recent cohorts than in earlier cohorts and have fairly stable intercohort differences across the life course that vary in substantively plausible ways among sociodemographic subgroups. About half of Americans will meet the criteria for a DSM-IV disorder sometime in their life, with first onset usually in childhood or adolescence. Interventions aimed at prevention or early treatment need to focus on youth.
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        Responses to depression and their effects on the duration of depressive episodes.

         S B Nolen (1991)
        I propose that the ways people respond to their own symptoms of depression influence the duration of these symptoms. People who engage in ruminative responses to depression, focusing on their symptoms and the possible causes and consequences of their symptoms, will show longer depressions than people who take action to distract themselves from their symptoms. Ruminative responses prolong depression because they allow the depressed mood to negatively bias thinking and interfere with instrumental behavior and problem-solving. Laboratory and field studies directly testing this theory have supported its predictions. I discuss how response styles can explain the greater likelihood of depression in women than men. Then I intergrate this response styles theory with studies of coping with discrete events. The response styles theory is compared to other theories of the duration of depression. Finally, I suggest what may help a depressed person to stop engaging in ruminative responses and how response styles for depression may develop.
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          Rethinking Rumination.

          The response styles theory (Nolen-Hoeksema, 1991) was proposed to explain the insidious relationship between rumination and depression. We review the aspects of the response styles theory that have been well-supported, including evidence that rumination exacerbates depression, enhances negative thinking, impairs problem solving, interferes with instrumental behavior, and erodes social support. Next, we address contradictory and new findings. Specifically, rumination appears to more consistently predict the onset of depression rather than the duration, but rumination interacts with negative cognitive styles to predict the duration of depressive symptoms. Contrary to original predictions, the use of positive distractions has not consistently been correlated with lower levels of depressive symptoms in correlational studies, although dozens of experimental studies show positive distractions relieve depressed mood. Further, evidence now suggests that rumination is associated with psychopathologies in addition to depression, including anxiety, binge eating, binge drinking, and self-harm. We discuss the relationships between rumination and worry and between rumination and other coping or emotion-regulation strategies. Finally, we highlight recent research on the distinction between rumination and more adaptive forms of self-reflection, on basic cognitive deficits or biases in rumination, on its neural and genetic correlates, and on possible interventions to combat rumination.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ] SensoriMotor, Affective and Social Development Lab, Geneva, Switzerland
            [2 ] University Grenoble Alpes, LPNC-CNRS, Grenoble, France
            Southwest University, CHINA
            Author notes

            Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

            Contributors
            Role: Conceptualization, Role: Formal analysis, Role: Methodology, Role: Writing – original draft, Role: Writing – review & editing
            ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0574-5557, Role: Conceptualization, Role: Project administration, Role: Resources, Role: Supervision, Role: Writing – original draft, Role: Writing – review & editing
            Role: Editor
            Journal
            PLoS One
            PLoS ONE
            plos
            plosone
            PLoS ONE
            Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
            1932-6203
            7 June 2018
            2018
            : 13
            : 6
            29879165 5991707 10.1371/journal.pone.0195501 PONE-D-17-26180
            © 2018 Theurel, Gentaz

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

            Counts
            Figures: 2, Tables: 3, Pages: 24
            Product
            Funding
            The authors received no specific funding for this work.
            Categories
            Research Article
            Biology and Life Sciences
            Psychology
            Emotions
            Social Sciences
            Psychology
            Emotions
            People and Places
            Population Groupings
            Age Groups
            Children
            Adolescents
            People and Places
            Population Groupings
            Families
            Children
            Adolescents
            Biology and Life Sciences
            Psychology
            Emotions
            Anxiety
            Social Sciences
            Psychology
            Emotions
            Anxiety
            Biology and Life Sciences
            Neuroscience
            Cognitive Science
            Cognition
            Biology and Life Sciences
            Psychology
            Emotions
            Fear
            Social Sciences
            Psychology
            Emotions
            Fear
            Medicine and Health Sciences
            Mental Health and Psychiatry
            Mood Disorders
            Depression
            Biology and Life Sciences
            Neuroscience
            Cognitive Science
            Cognitive Psychology
            Biology and Life Sciences
            Psychology
            Cognitive Psychology
            Social Sciences
            Psychology
            Cognitive Psychology
            Medicine and Health Sciences
            Mental Health and Psychiatry
            Custom metadata
            All data files are available from the DRYAD database (doi: 10.5061/dryad.n230404).

            Uncategorized

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