Adolescent Emotionality and Emotion Regulation in the Context of Parent Emotion Socialization Among Adolescents with Neurodevelopmental Disorders: A Call to Action with Pilot Data


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To date, only three studies have examined the role of emotion socialization in the emotional functioning of youth with neurodevelopmental disorders. As such, this review article with pilot data sought to provide a call to action and first step in addressing this limited research body. Pilot data was collected with 18 adolescents (Mage = 13.5, SD = 1.6; 70% male) with a neurodevelopmental disorder and their primary caregiver. All adolescents were diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and displayed a range of comorbid disorders: autism spectrum disorder (27.8%), anxiety (66.7%), depression (44.4%), and disruptive behavior disorders (50%). Adolescents and caregivers completed a conflict discussion task while physiological, observational, and self-report measures of emotion socialization and emotional functioning were measured. Observed supportive parent emotion socialization behaviors were significantly associated with more observed adaptive emotion regulation strategies, and decreased observed and adolescent-reported negative affect, whereas non-supportive emotion socialization behaviors were associated with more observed negative affect and less observed adaptive emotion regulation strategies. Our pilot findings support growing research suggesting that adaptive parent emotion socialization practices can help foster less negative emotionality and better emotion regulation in youth with neurodevelopment disorders. We make a call to action for more emotion socialization research focused on youth with neurodevelopmental disorders, and propose four important directions for future research: 1) Research examining emotion socialization behaviors during daily life, 2) Understanding the nuanced role of emotion socialization practices, 3) Considering diversity in emotion socialization practices with clinical populations, and 4) Longitudinal and intervention research studies.



Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Emotion regulation, Emotion socialization, Family conflict, Psychophysiology, Respiratory sinus arrhythmia