Low Emotional Awareness as a Transdiagnostic Mechanism Underlying Psychopathology in Adolescence

Citation:

Weissman, D., Nook, E. C., Dews, A. A., Miller, A. B., Lambert, H., Sasse, S. F., Somerville, L., et al. (In Press). Low Emotional Awareness as a Transdiagnostic Mechanism Underlying Psychopathology in Adolescence . PsyArXiv.
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Abstract:

The ability to identify and label one’s emotions is a precursor to effective emotion regulation, suggesting that emotional awareness is important for mental health. We evaluated how emotional awareness was related to psychopathology and whether low emotional awareness was a transdiagnostic mechanism explaining the increase in psychopathology during the transition to adolescence and as a function of childhood trauma—specifically violence exposure. In Study 1, children and adolescents (N=120, aged 7-19 years) reported on emotional awareness and psychopathology. Emotional awareness was negatively associated with psychopathology (p-factor) and decreased across age in females but not males. In Study 2 (N=262, aged 8-16 years), we replicated these findings and demonstrated longitudinally that low emotional awareness mediated increases in p-factor as a function of age in females and violence exposure. These findings indicate that low emotional awareness may be a transdiagnostic mechanism linking adolescent development, sex, and trauma with the emergence of psychopathology.

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Last updated on 03/11/2020