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Psychophysiological correlates of emotion regulation training in adolescent anxiety: Evidence from the novel PIER task

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Abstract
Background: Anxiety disorders are the leading cause of mental illness in adolescence. While anxious adolescents show impairments in emotion processing and deficits in emotion regulation, few studies have attempted to improve emotion regulation within these populations. Method: This study used a multi-method design to test a newly developed emotion regulation training aimed at improving insight into emotions and instructing cognitive reappraisal. The efficacy of cognitive reappraisal was investigated in 27 clinically anxious youth (Age: M=12.36, SD=2.59) and 43 healthy controls (Age: M=13.07, SD=2.19) using psychophysiological measures. Specifically, heart rate variability, pupil dilation, and visual fixations were recorded while youth had to up-or downregulate their emotions in response to affective pictures in the Psychophysiological Indicators of Emotion Regulation (PIER) task. Results: The novel training effectively improved self-reported emotion regulation and momentary anxiety in both groups. Moreover, initial group differences in emotional reactivity mostly disappeared when participants were instructed to apply emotion regulation in the task. However, pupil dilation data suggested that participants with anxiety disorders required more cognitive resources for the upregulation of negative affect to counteract this effect. Limitations: The relatively small sample size and large age range could hamper detection of additional group differences that may exist. Conclusions: The current study provides evidence that anxious youth can apply cognitive reappraisal to a similar extent as healthy adolescents after emotion regulation training but may need to exert more effort to do so. This training could be a valuable addition to current treatment programs.
Keywords
HEART-RATE-VARIABILITY, COGNITIVE REAPPRAISAL, DISORDERS, CHILDREN, PSYCHOPATHOLOGY, DYSREGULATION, DEPRESSION, STRATEGIES, PUPIL, METAANALYSIS, Cognitive reappraisal, Anxiety disorders, Heart rate variability, Pupil, dilation, Visual fixations

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Chicago
De Witte, Nele, Stefan Sutterlin, Caroline Braet, and Sven Müller. 2017. “Psychophysiological Correlates of Emotion Regulation Training in Adolescent Anxiety: Evidence from the Novel PIER Task.” Journal of Affective Disorders 214: 89–96.
APA
De Witte, Nele, Sutterlin, S., Braet, C., & Müller, S. (2017). Psychophysiological correlates of emotion regulation training in adolescent anxiety: Evidence from the novel PIER task. JOURNAL OF AFFECTIVE DISORDERS, 214, 89–96.
Vancouver
1.
De Witte N, Sutterlin S, Braet C, Müller S. Psychophysiological correlates of emotion regulation training in adolescent anxiety: Evidence from the novel PIER task. JOURNAL OF AFFECTIVE DISORDERS. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Bv; 2017;214:89–96.
MLA
De Witte, Nele, Stefan Sutterlin, Caroline Braet, et al. “Psychophysiological Correlates of Emotion Regulation Training in Adolescent Anxiety: Evidence from the Novel PIER Task.” JOURNAL OF AFFECTIVE DISORDERS 214 (2017): 89–96. Print.
@article{8526865,
  abstract     = {Background: Anxiety disorders are the leading cause of mental illness in adolescence. While anxious adolescents show impairments in emotion processing and deficits in emotion regulation, few studies have attempted to improve emotion regulation within these populations. Method: This study used a multi-method design to test a newly developed emotion regulation training aimed at improving insight into emotions and instructing cognitive reappraisal. The efficacy of cognitive reappraisal was investigated in 27 clinically anxious youth (Age: M=12.36, SD=2.59) and 43 healthy controls (Age: M=13.07, SD=2.19) using psychophysiological measures. Specifically, heart rate variability, pupil dilation, and visual fixations were recorded while youth had to up-or downregulate their emotions in response to affective pictures in the Psychophysiological Indicators of Emotion Regulation (PIER) task. Results: The novel training effectively improved self-reported emotion regulation and momentary anxiety in both groups. Moreover, initial group differences in emotional reactivity mostly disappeared when participants were instructed to apply emotion regulation in the task. However, pupil dilation data suggested that participants with anxiety disorders required more cognitive resources for the upregulation of negative affect to counteract this effect. Limitations: The relatively small sample size and large age range could hamper detection of additional group differences that may exist. Conclusions: The current study provides evidence that anxious youth can apply cognitive reappraisal to a similar extent as healthy adolescents after emotion regulation training but may need to exert more effort to do so. This training could be a valuable addition to current treatment programs.},
  author       = {De Witte, Nele and Sutterlin, Stefan and Braet, Caroline and M{\"u}ller, Sven},
  issn         = {0165-0327},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF AFFECTIVE DISORDERS},
  keyword      = {HEART-RATE-VARIABILITY,COGNITIVE REAPPRAISAL,DISORDERS,CHILDREN,PSYCHOPATHOLOGY,DYSREGULATION,DEPRESSION,STRATEGIES,PUPIL,METAANALYSIS,Cognitive reappraisal,Anxiety disorders,Heart rate variability,Pupil,dilation,Visual fixations},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {89--96},
  publisher    = {Elsevier Science Bv},
  title        = {Psychophysiological correlates of emotion regulation training in adolescent anxiety: Evidence from the novel PIER task},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2017.03.012},
  volume       = {214},
  year         = {2017},
}

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