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Journal Article


Trent ES, Viana AG, Raines EM, Woodward EC, Storch EA, Zvolensky MJ. Psychiatry Res. 2019; 276: 18-24.


Department of Psychology, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA; Department of Behavioral Science, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.


(Copyright © 2019, Elsevier Publishing)






Childhood exposure to parental threatening behaviors places adolescents at greater risk for depression. However, the association between parental threatening behaviors and depressive symptoms among trauma-exposed inpatient youth, and potential factors that exacerbate the harmful effects of such parenting, have remained unexplored. One factor that may contribute to depression is low emotional clarity, which is characterized by difficulties recognizing and understanding one's emotions. The current investigation examined the interactive effects of childhood exposure to maternal threatening behaviors and emotional clarity deficits in relation to depressive symptoms among inpatient psychiatric youth who had been exposed to a potentially traumatic event (i.e., exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence). Participants (N = 50, Mage = 15.1 years, SD = 0.51, range 12-17) completed measures of emotion dysregulation, childhood exposure to maternal threatening behavior, and depressive symptoms. A significant interaction was found between exposure to maternal threatening behaviors and deficits in emotional clarity in relation to depressive symptom severity. Greater exposure to maternal threatening behaviors was related to more severe depressive symptoms, yet only among children with greater deficits in emotional clarity.

FINDINGS underscore the need for interventions that target emotional clarity among trauma-exposed youth who have experienced parental threats.

Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Language: en


Adolescents; Depression; Emotion regulation; Emotional clarity; Parenting


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