Reference : Comparing the efficacy of two frustration inducing tasks in the assessment of adolesc...
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Treatment & clinical psychology
http://hdl.handle.net/10993/38297
Comparing the efficacy of two frustration inducing tasks in the assessment of adolescent emotion regulation
English
Battistutta, Layla mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE) >]
Steffgen, Georges mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE) >]
Sep-2018
Yes
International
16th Conference of the European Association for Research on Adolescence (EARA Congress)
from 12-09-2018 to 15-09-2018
European Association for Research on Adolescence (EARA)
Ghent
Belgium
[en] Adolescence ; emotion regulation ; frustration
[en] In adolescence, adequate emotion regulation skills help to promote resilience and prevent the development of mental health problems. To fully understand these emotion regulation mechanisms, empirically validated tools are needed to be able to effectively induce and assess frustration among adolescents in experimental settings. However, the differences between the already existing frustration eliciting tools and their use with different adolescent age groups are not well understood. The present study thus set out to test the efficacy of two non-verbal, frustration inducing tasks in adolescence, also evaluating potential age differences and relating them to the use of emotion regulation strategies.

Two computerized distress tolerance tasks were employed, including the Behavioural Indicator of Resiliency to Distress (BIRD; Lejuez et al., 2006), requiring children to free a bird from its cage, and the Mirror Tracing Persistence Task (MPTP; Strong et al., 2003), originally designed for adults and consisting of retracing a star as if seen in a mirror. Their efficacy in inducing frustration was compared in a sample of 72 adolescents, split into two different age groups (11-13; 14-16).
Adolescents’ emotion responses were assessed on a subjective level via self-report of their positive and negative affect before and after the task (PANAS-C; Laurent et al., 1999), physiologically via continuous heart rate monitoring using a Polar H7 chest strap and behaviourally by assessing adolescents’ persistence on the last level. Additionally, self-report questionnaires allowed to assess adolescents’ habitual use of reappraisal and suppression (ERQ-CA; Gullone & Taffe, 2012) as well as their use during the tasks (ERQ-state, Egloff et al., 2006). Due to their previous use with different populations, differences between the two tasks in terms of their effectiveness in inducing frustration in an adolescent sample were expected. Furthermore, age differences were hypothesized to impact the use of emotion regulation strategies and lead to higher emotion responses in the younger group.

Task and age differences were analysed with analyses of variance and revealed higher heart rates (F(4,59)=5.061, p<.001, ηp2=.255) for the BIRD task as well as a tendency towards a shorter persistence on this task (F(1,68)=3.920, p=.052, ηp2= .055). No task differences were found regarding adolescents’ subjective emotional responding (F<1, n.s.), with both tasks being psychologically distressing (F(1,68)= 22.484, p<.001, ηp2=.248). As for age differences, although the younger adolescents reported a higher habitual use of suppression in general (t(70)= 2.072, p< .05, d=.489), no age differences were found in terms of the strategies they used on both tasks (all Fs<1,n.s.), nor in regards to emotional responding (all Fs<1,n.s.).

Due to the similar self-reported psychological distress for both tasks, these findings allow to empirically validate their use in an adolescent population aged 11 to 16. The BIRD might be advocated for further use with adolescents as it led to higher heart rates and shorter persistence beyond the produced subjective frustration. Further studies using frustration eliciting tools should be aware of any potential differences in emotional responses that might be produced using different tasks and the implications this could have for the interpretation of findings.
Researchers
http://hdl.handle.net/10993/38297

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