Publication Date

2015-06-11

Availability

Embargoed

Embargo Period

2017-06-10

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2015-04-07

First Committee Member

Jill Ehrenreich May

Second Committee Member

Rebecca Bulotsky Shearer

Third Committee Member

Kristin Lindahl

Fourth Committee Member

Jason Jent

Fifth Committee Member

Heather Henderson

Abstract

There is a wealth of research demonstrating the relationship between emotion regulation deficits and anxiety symptoms (Zeman, Shipman & Suveg, 2002; Penza-Clyve & Zeman, 2002; Suveg & Zeman, 2004). However, rigorous investigations incorporating multimethod assessments of emotion regulation are rare (Adrian, Zeman & Viets, 2011; Thompson, 2011a). Participants were 153 children, ages 6-13 (Mage = 9.39, 51.6% male), diagnosed with a clinical anxiety disorder. Analyses indicated significant convergence between parent- and child-report of dysregulation, and between informant and observer-reports of dysregulation. No other convergence was observed. Examinations of divergence across parent- and child-report of youth inhibition, dysregulation and coping indicated that all scales differed significantly by informant. The relationship between emotion regulation and anxiety symptoms was examined via a series of canonical correlations. Analyses revealed a significant association between youth dysregulation and anxiety. Additionally, there was a significant relationship between emotion regulation and youth anxiety. Findings demonstrate that inhibition and coping were found to be the most divergent scales. Dysregulation was found to have higher levels of convergence, both between informants and across assessment methods. This is consistent with research in youth mental health demonstrating greater convergence for more observable behaviors, and divergence for internalized targets (e.g. De Los Reyes et al., 2015). Results also indicate that different measurements of emotion regulation provided incremental validity to the assessment of emotion regulation and anxiety. Overall, these results support the rationale for multimethod assessment of emotion regulation, for better understanding both the construct of emotion regulation, and its relationship with youth anxiety.

Keywords

emotion regulation; youth mental health; multimethod assessment; informant discrepancies; anxiety

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