Relations of Emotion Regulation, Negative and Positive Affect to Anxiety and Depression in Middle Childhood

Kristen Uhl, Leslie F. Halpern, Celia Tam, Jeremy K Fox, Julie L. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: The associations between coping, emotion regulation, and child psychopathology have been the subject of extensive research. Many studies have focused on voluntary processes of emotion regulation. In addition to controlled regulatory processes, children’s involuntary, automatic processes based in individual differences in temperament may also impact emotion regulation and children’s psychological adjustment. The current study examined the relations of emotion regulation and temperament to children’s symptoms of anxiety and depression in middle childhood. Methods: Study participants included 126 children (50% Male, 68.0% Caucasian; M = 9.60 years, SD = 0.52) recruited from a suburban school district. Participants completed self-report measures of emotion regulation, trait affect, and anxiety and depression severity. Results: Results showed that children reported using active self-regulatory strategies more than any other form of emotion regulation in response to anger, worry, fear, and sadness. Significant relationships were found between negative affect and poor emotion regulation or “dysregulation” (r = 0.25, p < 0.01) as well as positive affect and dysregulation (r = −0.22, p < 0.05). Furthermore, emotion dysregulation moderated the relation between trait negative affect and depression (∆R2 = 0.01, F(1117) = 4.78, p < 0.05). Conclusions: This study provides further support for the well-established relations between temperament and internalizing disorders in children. It suggests that children in this age group tend to use active strategies to regulate to negative emotions. Additionally, it shows that children high in trait negative affect and emotion dysregulation may be at increased the risk for depression.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

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Emotions
emotion
Anxiety
childhood
Depression
anxiety
Temperament
Anger
psychopathology
Caucasian
Psychopathology
anger
Individuality
Self Report
Fear
age group
coping
Age Groups
district
Research

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Emotion regulation
  • Negative affect
  • Positive affect

Cite this

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title = "Relations of Emotion Regulation, Negative and Positive Affect to Anxiety and Depression in Middle Childhood",
abstract = "Objectives: The associations between coping, emotion regulation, and child psychopathology have been the subject of extensive research. Many studies have focused on voluntary processes of emotion regulation. In addition to controlled regulatory processes, children’s involuntary, automatic processes based in individual differences in temperament may also impact emotion regulation and children’s psychological adjustment. The current study examined the relations of emotion regulation and temperament to children’s symptoms of anxiety and depression in middle childhood. Methods: Study participants included 126 children (50{\%} Male, 68.0{\%} Caucasian; M = 9.60 years, SD = 0.52) recruited from a suburban school district. Participants completed self-report measures of emotion regulation, trait affect, and anxiety and depression severity. Results: Results showed that children reported using active self-regulatory strategies more than any other form of emotion regulation in response to anger, worry, fear, and sadness. Significant relationships were found between negative affect and poor emotion regulation or “dysregulation” (r = 0.25, p < 0.01) as well as positive affect and dysregulation (r = −0.22, p < 0.05). Furthermore, emotion dysregulation moderated the relation between trait negative affect and depression (∆R2 = 0.01, F(1117) = 4.78, p < 0.05). Conclusions: This study provides further support for the well-established relations between temperament and internalizing disorders in children. It suggests that children in this age group tend to use active strategies to regulate to negative emotions. Additionally, it shows that children high in trait negative affect and emotion dysregulation may be at increased the risk for depression.",
keywords = "Anxiety, Depression, Emotion regulation, Negative affect, Positive affect",
author = "Kristen Uhl and Halpern, {Leslie F.} and Celia Tam and Fox, {Jeremy K} and Ryan, {Julie L.}",
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Relations of Emotion Regulation, Negative and Positive Affect to Anxiety and Depression in Middle Childhood. / Uhl, Kristen; Halpern, Leslie F.; Tam, Celia; Fox, Jeremy K; Ryan, Julie L.

In: Journal of Child and Family Studies, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Relations of Emotion Regulation, Negative and Positive Affect to Anxiety and Depression in Middle Childhood

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AU - Fox, Jeremy K

AU - Ryan, Julie L.

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N2 - Objectives: The associations between coping, emotion regulation, and child psychopathology have been the subject of extensive research. Many studies have focused on voluntary processes of emotion regulation. In addition to controlled regulatory processes, children’s involuntary, automatic processes based in individual differences in temperament may also impact emotion regulation and children’s psychological adjustment. The current study examined the relations of emotion regulation and temperament to children’s symptoms of anxiety and depression in middle childhood. Methods: Study participants included 126 children (50% Male, 68.0% Caucasian; M = 9.60 years, SD = 0.52) recruited from a suburban school district. Participants completed self-report measures of emotion regulation, trait affect, and anxiety and depression severity. Results: Results showed that children reported using active self-regulatory strategies more than any other form of emotion regulation in response to anger, worry, fear, and sadness. Significant relationships were found between negative affect and poor emotion regulation or “dysregulation” (r = 0.25, p < 0.01) as well as positive affect and dysregulation (r = −0.22, p < 0.05). Furthermore, emotion dysregulation moderated the relation between trait negative affect and depression (∆R2 = 0.01, F(1117) = 4.78, p < 0.05). Conclusions: This study provides further support for the well-established relations between temperament and internalizing disorders in children. It suggests that children in this age group tend to use active strategies to regulate to negative emotions. Additionally, it shows that children high in trait negative affect and emotion dysregulation may be at increased the risk for depression.

AB - Objectives: The associations between coping, emotion regulation, and child psychopathology have been the subject of extensive research. Many studies have focused on voluntary processes of emotion regulation. In addition to controlled regulatory processes, children’s involuntary, automatic processes based in individual differences in temperament may also impact emotion regulation and children’s psychological adjustment. The current study examined the relations of emotion regulation and temperament to children’s symptoms of anxiety and depression in middle childhood. Methods: Study participants included 126 children (50% Male, 68.0% Caucasian; M = 9.60 years, SD = 0.52) recruited from a suburban school district. Participants completed self-report measures of emotion regulation, trait affect, and anxiety and depression severity. Results: Results showed that children reported using active self-regulatory strategies more than any other form of emotion regulation in response to anger, worry, fear, and sadness. Significant relationships were found between negative affect and poor emotion regulation or “dysregulation” (r = 0.25, p < 0.01) as well as positive affect and dysregulation (r = −0.22, p < 0.05). Furthermore, emotion dysregulation moderated the relation between trait negative affect and depression (∆R2 = 0.01, F(1117) = 4.78, p < 0.05). Conclusions: This study provides further support for the well-established relations between temperament and internalizing disorders in children. It suggests that children in this age group tend to use active strategies to regulate to negative emotions. Additionally, it shows that children high in trait negative affect and emotion dysregulation may be at increased the risk for depression.

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