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Emotion Regulation in Ghanaian and American Children: Associations with Internalizing and Externalizing Behaviors

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Author: Anderson, Ellen Claire
Advisor: Zeman, Janice
Committee Members: Forestell, Catherine A.; Charity Hudley, Anne H.
Issued Date: 2010-05-13
Subjects: Ghana
Emotion regulation
Depressive symptoms
Aggressive behaviors
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/2008
Description: Children's emotion regulation (ER) ability has been shown to influence psychosocial development, but this research has relied primarily on data from Western cultures. Given the important influence of culture and context on emotion processes, the current study examined ER behaviors (i.e. coping, inhibition, dysregulation) and associations with internalizing and externalizing behaviors in Ghanaian and American youth. Participants were 142 children from Ghana and 147 children from the United States, ages 8-15, who completed the Children's Emotion Management Scales (CEMS) for sadness and anger, emotion frequency scales, the Children's Depression Inventory Short Form (CDI-S), and the Aggression subscale of the Youth Self-Report (YSR) form of the Child Behavior Checklist. Univariate and multivariate analyses of variance and hierarchical regressions examined effects of nationality, gender, and age group. Nationality differences emerged, such that the overt expression of sadness and anger was reported with greater frequency in Ghana and the effortful control of sadness was reported with greater frequency in America. Regression analyses indicated that the inhibition of anger predicted to depressive symptomatology in American but not Ghanaian children, and that the dysregulation of anger predicted to aggressive behaviors in both countries. Significant gender and age findings were most pronounced for the experience of sadness and in associations between ER and mental health.
Degree: Bachelors of Arts in Psychology


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