Male adolescents placed in residential-care are more likely to show externalizing problems, such aggressive or rule-breaking behaviors. Several studies highlighted that security in attachment representations could have a protective role, while emotional regulation (ER) strategies, such Expressive Suppression (ES; Gross & John, 2003), may increase the risk of behavioral problems. As few studies investigate simultaneously these two variables in institutionalized adolescents, we aimed to assess the attachment representations and the use of ES with respect to externalizing problems (i.e. aggressive and rule-breaking behaviors) showed by teenagers in residential-care. Participants were 21 boys, aged 13-18 (M = 16.3, SD = 1.4), institutionalized due to adverse experiences in the birth-family (65%) or delinquent problems (35%). Measures were: 1) the Child Behavior Check List 6-18 (CBCL) to measure the levels of Externalizing problems, Aggressive and Rule-breaking behaviors; 2) the Friends and Family Interview (FFI) to assess attachment representations; 3) The Emotional Regulation Questionnaire for Children and Adolescents (ERQ-CA) to assess the use of ER strategies (Expressive Suppression and Cognitive Reappraisal). Through multiple regressions, main results showed that lower levels of security in attachment representations predicted both Externalizing (adjusted-R2 =.25, p =.04) and Rule-breaking behaviors (adjusted-R2 =.28, p =.03), while higher levels of ES predicted the Aggressive behaviors (adjusted-R2 =.31 p=.03). We discussed the preventive utility in extra-familiar care either to promote in young males secure attachments and to reduce ER strategies with possible long-term negative outcomes, such ES.

Attachment and emotional expressive suppression predict aggressive and rule-breaking behaviors in institutionalized male adolescents.

Stefania Muzi;Fabiola Bizzi;Cecilia Serena Pace
2018

Abstract

Male adolescents placed in residential-care are more likely to show externalizing problems, such aggressive or rule-breaking behaviors. Several studies highlighted that security in attachment representations could have a protective role, while emotional regulation (ER) strategies, such Expressive Suppression (ES; Gross & John, 2003), may increase the risk of behavioral problems. As few studies investigate simultaneously these two variables in institutionalized adolescents, we aimed to assess the attachment representations and the use of ES with respect to externalizing problems (i.e. aggressive and rule-breaking behaviors) showed by teenagers in residential-care. Participants were 21 boys, aged 13-18 (M = 16.3, SD = 1.4), institutionalized due to adverse experiences in the birth-family (65%) or delinquent problems (35%). Measures were: 1) the Child Behavior Check List 6-18 (CBCL) to measure the levels of Externalizing problems, Aggressive and Rule-breaking behaviors; 2) the Friends and Family Interview (FFI) to assess attachment representations; 3) The Emotional Regulation Questionnaire for Children and Adolescents (ERQ-CA) to assess the use of ER strategies (Expressive Suppression and Cognitive Reappraisal). Through multiple regressions, main results showed that lower levels of security in attachment representations predicted both Externalizing (adjusted-R2 =.25, p =.04) and Rule-breaking behaviors (adjusted-R2 =.28, p =.03), while higher levels of ES predicted the Aggressive behaviors (adjusted-R2 =.31 p=.03). We discussed the preventive utility in extra-familiar care either to promote in young males secure attachments and to reduce ER strategies with possible long-term negative outcomes, such ES.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/1004262
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