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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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76. The Development of Beliefs about Emotions in Youth: Associations with Temperamental Negative Emotionality and Depression

Individual differences in beliefs about the controllability of emotions, or implicit beliefs about emotions, are associated with emotion regulation strategy use, depressive symptoms, and subjective well-being. Less is known about factors contributing to individual differences in these beliefs. The current study examined prospective associations between temperamental negative emotionality (NE) and implicit beliefs about emotions, as well as the indirect effect of NE on depressive symptoms through implicit beliefs about emotions, in children and adolescents (N = 544, ages 7-16, 57.2% female). Self-reported NE was assessed at baseline (T1) using the EATQ-R. Self-reported implicit beliefs about emotions were assessed 18-months later (T2) using the Implicit Theories of Emotions Scale, and self-reported depressive symptoms (CDI) were assessed at T1 and 36-months later (T3). NE at T1 prospectively predicted T2 implicit beliefs about emotions (b=-0.01, p<0.001). There was a significant indirect effect of T1 NE on T3 depressive symptoms through T2 implicit beliefs about emotions (b[95% CI]= .01[0.001, 0.014]), controlling for T1 depressive symptoms. Findings suggest that youth high in NE believe their emotions to be more uncontrollable than youth low in NE, and these beliefs partially account for the longitudinal association between NE and changes in depressive symptoms.

Christopher Crawford
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Julianne Griffith
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jami Young
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Benjamin Hankin
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


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