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Title: Emotion regulation in adolescents : influences of social cognition and object relations : an ERP study
Author: Desiatnikov, Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 3384
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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Aims: The use of emotion regulation strategies can reduce the intensity of negative experiences; event related potentials (ERP) specifically the late positive potential (LPP) is known to be sensitive to this reduction in adults. It is argued that individual differences play an important role in one‘s ability to regulate emotions. The current study aimed to explore neural correlates of emotion regulation in adolescents. The study aimed to replicate previous findings from studies on adult populations, to show that emotion regulation is associated with changes in the amplitude of the late positive potential (LPP) in adolescents. It also aimed to examine neural changes associated with emotion regulation as a function of age and explore age-related differences in the scalp localisation of emotion regulation in adolescents. The study also aimed to explore whether individual differences, specifically the quality of internal representations of relationships, can predict neural activity associated with emotion regulation. Method: Event related potentials (ERP) of 53 adolescents (12 to 17 years old) performing an emotion regulation task were recorded. The social cognition and object relations scale (SCORS; Westen, 1995) was utilised in a narrative interview to obtain data about the quality of mental representations of relationships. Results: The study confirmed that the use of emotion regulation modulated the LPP in adolescence early in the emotion generation process. A relationship between the changes in the LPP and the age of the participants has been established, indicating that emotion regulation became more effortless with age. The study found that the quality of mental representations of relationships was able to significantly predict LPP amplitude related to emotion regulation. Conclusions: The findings suggest that emotion regulation becomes more effortless with age, and that internal representations of relationships are closely implicated in the ability to regulate emotions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available