Clinical Brown Bag
Adam Grabell, Clinical Doctoral Student
Thursday, April 04, 2013,
12:00 pm 1:00 pm
3021 East Hall
Over the past decade, psychology has seen an explosion in the number of peer-reviewed articles focusing on emotion regulation. Defined as goal directed, voluntary control over emotional processes, the term also has an important place in the world of clinical practice. Deficient emotion regulation is a hypothesized mechanism in most forms of psychopathology, including early onset behavior problems. In the field, clinicians seek to assess and improve children’s emotion regulation skills. Although emotion regulation is a truly translational construct, this potential is limited due to problems with how it is studied and defined.
The current study seeks to fill gaps in our understanding of emotion regulation in an understudied clinical population: preschool children with disruptive behavior disorders. The current study has two major aims: 1) to examine deficient emotion regulation in preschoolers with disruptive behavior disorders at different time scales and in different contexts 2) to examine if improvement in overt behavior problems linked with clinical intervention is associated with a “normalization” of emotion regulation processes. In this ongoing study, clinically referred and non-disordered preschool children complete a series tasks designed to assess emotion regulation at different levels: in the brain using event related potential methodology, on the face, and in higher-order behavioral strategies. Furthermore, these tasks tap into different social contexts.
I will describe the design and methodology developed to achieve these aims in this ongoing study. I will also discuss the potential translational importance the data will have for basic science and clinical practice.