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Title: Maltreatment-related processes of emotion regulation and social understanding : a study of adolescents in care in New South Wales
Author: Gray, Paul Matthew
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 3430
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Child abuse and neglect is a significant social issue with long term consequences for affected children and young people, including increased risk of emotional and social difficulties. Models of the impacts of maltreatment outline a developmental process in which maltreating parent-child relationships affect the development of neural networks, which in turn undermine developing cognitive processes, including emotion regulation and social understanding, thereby increasing risk of emotional and social difficulties. This study explores a subset of these cognitive processes in a sample of adolescents in long-term out-of-home care as a result of maltreatment, relative to a sample of non-maltreated peers, including situation selection (conditioned avoidance and risk-taking), attentional deployment (attention biases and attention control) and cognitive change (interpretation bias), as well as aspects of social understanding (mentalising, emotion understanding and prosocial responding). Further, the relative effects of maltreatment factors, and the relationship between emotion regulation and social understanding with adolescent adjustment was also explored. Results demonstrated maltreatment-related effects in conditioned avoidance, risk-taking, attention processes and social understanding, and explored the relative effect of exposure to physical abuse on the development of these processes, differences in such processes did not appear to significantly predict poor or normative adjustment of maltreated adolescents. These results are discussed with respect to models of maltreatment, emotion regulation and social understanding, with implications for the development and implementation of interventions.
Supervisor: Lau, Jennifer Y. F.; Scerif, Gaia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Experimental psychology ; Developmental psychology ; Emotion ; Social cognition ; Child maltreatment ; developmental psychopathology ; emotion regulation