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Int J Prev Med. 2014 Jan;5(1):52-60.

Similarities and Differences in Emotion Regulation and Psychopathology in Iranian and German School-children: A Cross-cultural Study.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.
  • 2Department of Psychometric, Allame Tabatabaei University, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Internalizing and externalizing disorders in children and adolescents have been described in many countries. This study was performed to better understand the effect of culture on emotion regulation, and aimed to identify the relationship between emotion regulation and psychopathology in children.

METHODS:

Participants were 269 children from Iran and Germany who voluntarily agreed to participate. Groups were defined by cultural background, Participants completed the Children Emotion Management Scale (CEMS), Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (CERQ), and the Youth self-report YSF questionnaires. Data were analyzed using Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) with post-hoc Scheffe tests conducted to identify the exact nature of group differences.

RESULTS:

There were significant main effect of country (P < 0.001) and sex (P = 0.003). For CEMS, but no significant interaction For CERQ there was a significant main effect of country (P <0.001), but no main effect of sex nor an interaction. MANOVA analyses for internalizing and externalizing symptoms as measured by the YSR indicated significant main effects of country and sex, but the interaction did not reach significance (P=0.088).

CONCLUSIONS:

A main result of the study showed that children in Iran report more internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Culture and emotional expression may explain differences between Iranian and German children. It seems to be difficult for young children in Iran to express themselves, this may be because they are expected to show respect to maintain harmony in the family.

KEYWORDS:

Coping strategies; culture; emotion regulation; externalizing; internalizing.

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