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Journal Article


Theurel A, Gentaz É. PLoS One 2018; 13(6): e0195501.


University Grenoble Alpes, LPNC-CNRS, Grenoble, France.


(Copyright © 2018, Public Library of Science)






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.

Language: en


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