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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2011 Jul;39(5):657-69. doi: 10.1007/s10802-011-9509-3.

Emotional dynamics in the development of early adolescent psychopathology: a one-year longitudinal study.

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Department of Developmental Psychology, VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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  • J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2011 Aug;39(6):909-11.


This study examined the role of the level and variability of happiness, anger, anxiety, and sadness in the development of adolescent-reported anxiety disorder symptoms, depressive symptoms, and aggressive behavior in 452 adolescents (250 male) followed from age 13 to 14. Level and between-day variability of emotions were assessed through adolescent report at 3-month intervals across a 1 year period. Level and variability of the four emotions contributed to changes in anxiety disorder and depressive symptoms more consistently than to changes in aggressive behavior. All four emotions were predictive of changes in internalizing problems, while anger played the most prominent role in the development of aggressive behavior. Variability of emotions contributed to changes in anxiety disorder symptoms, while heightened levels of negative emotions and diminished happiness contributed to changes in depression. Results suggested somewhat stronger effects of negative affect on aggressive behavior for females than for males. Results underscore the role of emotion dysregulation in the development of psychopathology.

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