Veliko Tarnovo Hall - Marinela

Children and Young People

Gudlaug Mitchison, Esther Calvete, Izaskun Orue, Nora Baldus, Dana Castro / Cecilia Essou (Chair) Speaker

Chair: Cecilia Essou, University of Roehampton

10:30 Emotion Dysregulation in Relation to Disruptive Behavior Problems in 5-8 year-old
             children: Preliminary Results from a Longitudinal Study
           GudlaugMitchison, Urdur Njardvik, University of Iceland
           Juliette Liber, Utrecht University
           DagmarHannesdottir, Reykjavik Center for Child Development and Behavior

10:45 Teaching Adolescents That People Can Change Reduces Depressive Symptoms in
             Adolescent Girls
           EstherCalvete, Liria Fernández-González, Izaskun Orue, Estibaliz Royuela-Colomer, Ainara
           Echezarraga, Nerea Cortazar, University of Deusto, Bilbao David S. Yeager, University of
           Texas at Austin

11:00 Social Information Processing as a mediator in the relationship between early
            maladaptive schemas and child-to-parent aggression
           Izaskun Orue, Esther Calvete, Liria Fernández-González, University of Deusto

11:15 Attribution of blame and its association with self-reported externalising and
            internalising problems: A comparison of pupils in inclusive, regular and special needs
           Nora Baldus, Leen Vereenooghe, Bielefeld University

11:30 Single-session school based MBCT – like intervention for conflict resolution.
           Dana Castro, Cabinet de Psychologie, Paris

11:45 Discussion


1) Emotion Dysregulation in Relation to Disruptive Behavior Problems in 5-8 year-old children: Preliminary Results from a Longitudinal Study
Gudlaug Marion Mitchison, MSc., University of Iceland;Juliette Liber, Ph.D., Utrecht University;Dagmar Kr. Hannesdottir, Ph.D. Reykjavik Center for Child Development and Behavior;Urdur Njardvik, Ph.D.,University of Iceland

Associations between emotion dysregulation and behavior problems have been suggested. However, there is a relative lack of consistent evidence regarding the precise nature of this relationship and the manifestation among younger children as the focus has been more on older children and other psychopathology (Blandon et al., 2010; Gerstein et al., 2011; Hill et al., 2006; Martel et al., 2012). Furthermore, estimation of the prevalence of emotion dysregulation in this age group is also lacking.
This research project is one of the first longitudinal studies where emotion dysregulation is assessed in relation to symptoms of behavior disorders among younger children. The objective is to track the development of both emotion dysregulation and emerging symptoms of psychopathology from the age of 5 to 8 years, a period of vulnerability when the onset of disruptive behavior problems is most prominent, and many comorbid disorders seem to form (Kim-Cohen et al., 2005; Barkley, 2006). This community sample consists of 620 children born 2010 and 2011 in the capital region in Iceland, who are followed from Kindergarten through 2nd grade. Parents and teachers answer the ERC, SDQ, DBRS, and ADHD Rating Scale once a year, followed by the K-SADS diagnostic interview and WISC-IV for children scoring above cut-off on any measure. Data collection is ongoing, therefore results from two phases for the 2011 cohort and results from all three phases for the 2010 cohort will be presented.
ERC scores were fairly constant over the three years, with boys showing more lability/negativity and poorer emotion regulation than girls. Rate of behavior problems above cut-off increased from 6.2 to 7.7% for boys but decreased from 5.1 to 3.9% for girls over the three-year period, according to parents. Rate of behavior problems according to teachers were below 1% for girls, over the three-year-period and decreased from 7.7% to 4.1% for boys. Significant correlation was found between scores on the lability/negativity subscale of the ERC and behavior problems at all three phases, both for parent-report (DBRS: r=.74; r=.76; r=.79; (SDQ: r=.70; r=.69; r=.69) and teacher-report (DBRS: r=.82; r=.76; r=.54; SDQ: r=.73; r=.76; r=.63) Regression results support a connection between the lability/negativity score at age 5 and behavior problems at age 6 (DBRS R2=.350; SDQ R2=.301) and age 7 (DBRS R2=.273; SDQ R2=.335), according to parent-report. Regression results showed a weaker connection according to teacher-report (age 6: DBRS R2=.159; SDQ R2=.184; age 7: DBRS R2=.286; SDQ R2=.050) and could be due to drop-out rate among teachers. As item overlap on these scales is minimal, results indicate a moderately strong relationship between emotion dysregulation and behavior problems in this age group.
According to the results, overall emotion dysregulation is relatively common among younger children and more frequently seen in the form of lability/negativity than poor emotion regulation. More importantly, collective results are an indication that the relationship between emotion dysregulation and behavior problems among younger children may be relatively strong. Results will be discussed in terms of clinical implications.


2)Teaching Adolescents That People Can Change Reduces Depressive Symptoms in Adolescent Girls
Esther Calvete; Liria Fernández-González;Izaskun Orue; Estibaliz Royuela-Colomer;Ainara Echezarraga; Nerea Cortazar, University of Deusto. Bilbao (Spain); David S. Yeager, University of Texas at Austin (USA)

There is an increasing interest in developing brief universal interventions to prevent depression in adolescents. Some efforts have focused on changing entity theories of personality (i.e., the belief that personal characteristics are fixed and cannot be changed; e.g., Miu & Yeager, 2015). This study aimed to test whether an intervention aimed to teach that people can change - intervention based on an incremental theory of personality - reduces depressive symptoms and the incidence rates of clinically significant depressive symptoms over time.
A total of 886 Spanish adolescents (50.8% boys, aged between 13 and 18) were randomly assigned to the experimental intervention based on an incremental theory of personality (n= 468) vs an educational control intervention (n=418). Adolescents completed measures of depressive symptoms at pretest and at a 6-month follow-up (n= 775). They also completed measures of implicit theory of personality beliefs and bullying victimization at pretest.
A mixed ANOVA revealed that the interaction Time x Group was no statistically significant, indicating that the change in depressive symptoms was similar in both the experimental and the control groups. However, the Time × Group x Sex interaction was statistically significant, F(1, 755) = 4.09, p = .043. The results indicated that the incremental theory condition reduced significantly depressive symptoms in girls but not in boys. Moreover, in girls but not in boys, the experimental condition reduced significantly the incidence rate of cases presenting scores compatible with major depression in 39%.
Several explanations can account for gender differences in the effect of the intervention, such as greater role of implicit theories of personality in depression among girls.. These reasons should be considered to adapt better this type of intervention to all adolescents.
Findings suggest that brief interventions that teach adolescents than people can change are a promising tool to prevent the development of depression in adolescent girls.


3)Social Information Processing as a mediator in the relationship between early maladaptive schemas and child-to-parent aggression
Izaskun Orue; Esther Calvete; Liria Fernández-González, University of Deusto

Child-to-parent-aggression (CPA) is defined as the repeated physical or psychological violence of a child or an adolescent directed toward his/her parents. There are very few studies that address CPA so far. However, according to recent studies, CPA is highly prevalent in several countries. The aims of this study were to examine the predictive role of early maladaptive schemas (EMS) proposed by Jeffrey Young and the justification of violence schema, and to test whether Social Information Processing (SIP) mediated the association between those EMS and the increase of CPA over time.
Data were collected at three measurement periods spaced one year apart. A final sample of 903 adolescents (50.9% girls, Mage = 14.74; SDage = 1.20) completed measures of EMSs and justification of violence at time 1, SIP components (hostile attribution, anger, aggressive response access, and anticipation of positive consequences) at time 1 and time 2, and CPA (at time 1, time 2, and time 3.
CPA was significantly associated with all schemas and SIP components at time 1. Each of the schemas evaluated on this study had a different effect on SIP components and CPA. The SIP components of anger and aggressive response access in turn predicted CPA, mediating the relationship between some EMS and CPA. More specifically, the schemas of defectiveness and justification of violence predicted the response access component of SIP which in turn predicted CPA. The results also showed bidirectional relationships between some SIP components and CPA; whereas SIP components predicted CPA, the latter also predicted a worsening in SIP, perpetuating the problem. Furthermore, some gender differences were found in those paths. For example, anger mediated the relationship between the EMS of entitlement and CPA only in the case of boys.
Social information processing partly mediates the relationship between some early maladaptive schemas and child to parent aggression. Identifying the mechanisms through which schemas predict behavioural problems such as CPA has direct implications for interventions.
These results suggest that the negative effects of schemas on aggressions directed towards parents could be reduced working the biases in social information processing.


4)Attribution of blame and its association with self-reported externalising and internalising problems: A comparison of pupils in inclusive, regular and special needs education
Nora Baldus, Leen Vereenooghe, Bielefeld University

The tendency to blame others or the self for ambiguous social situations, in which harm is done but others’ intentions are unclear, has been associated with reactive aggression and emotional- and behavioural disorders. Prevalence rates of externalising and internalising problems differ between children and young people with and without special educational needs or developmental disorders. This study therefore aims to explore the various attributions of blame and their correlates in these different populations.
Data collection for this cross-sectional study is underway and includes pupils from 3 regular classes (n=56), 4 inclusive classes (n=38) and 4 special needs (n=27) classes, all aged between 9 and 17 years old. Class teachers provided information regarding the special needs status of individual students. A vignette-based assessment of social ambiguity processing in pupils (VASAPP) was developed as a new self-report measure to assess attributions of hostile intent and blame to either the other person, themselves or situational factors. The VASAPP further assessed pupils’ internalising- and externalising behaviour choices. In addition, pupils completed the Reactive Proactive Aggression Questionnaire (RPQ) and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Results School differences in attributions of blame will be analysed using ANCOVAS, with RPQ and SDQ as covariates. It is hypothesised that attributions of blame, aggression, internalising- and externalising problems, conduct problems and peer relationship problems are highest in special needs classes and lowest in regular classes. It is further hypothesised that regression analyses for pupils in inclusive and regular education will show that the tendency to blame others or the self, as opposed to blaming nobody, will be associated with higher reactive aggression, more dysfunctional behaviour choices on the VASAPP, more emotional symptoms, conduct problems and peer relationship problems.
Discussion and Conclusion:
Apositive association between blaming attributions, externalising and internalising problems and peer problems in inclusive and regular schools would open possibilities for cognitive bias modification interventions to alleviate these problems by targeting such attribution biases. Evidence for attributions of blame to be higher in inclusive schools than in regular schools, and highest in special needs schools, might improve our understanding of the differences in emotional- , social- and behavioural problems of pupils in classes with and without special needs.


5) Single-session school based MBCT – like intervention for conflict resolution.
Dana Castro, PhD, Private Practice, Cabinet de Psychologie, Paris, France

Evidence suggests that single sessions interventions may be effective for youth with anger, anxiety or conduct problems. The aim of the study is to acknowledge the impact of a single-session MBCT –like intervention in a high conflict classroom where students showed important levels of angers towards each other.
A 2 hours session had been implemented in a professional classroom of 22 students of a hair-styling program, mean age 17,6 years, 16 females and 6 males, after a violent verbal and physical conflict between two groups. The intervention included bodily and breathing exercises; being present attitudes; visualizing soothing sceneries; paying attention to current thoughts and emotions and introducing to each other.Two psychology undergraduate students, under supervision, had conducted the intervention and administered a structured interview to all the participants and to some of their instructors. Data were anaysed by the supervisor on a qualitative basis.
Have shown a high level of satisfaction with the intervention both by participants and their instructors. The participants were agreeably surprised to notice that they can cope with conflict. They mentioned that the intervention’s format and its peer management were suitable for they problems as different from other psychological techniques.
The intervention, being school-based, improved here and now youth communication and opened the participants to a sense of humanity.
More research is needed on the effectiveness of school based single-sessions MBCT interventions to reduce youth aggressive behaviours and anger.