Transdiagnostic prevention of internalizing symptoms in children aged 8 - 12 years: Examining emotion regulation, parental differences, and symptom reduction at 12-months follow-up
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- Institutt for psykologi 
Background: Children experiencing anxious and/or sad feelings that persist over time and interfere with daily function are at risk for developing internalizing disorders. Even at the subclinical level, internalizing symptoms interfere with healthy development and might cause functional impairment. Emotion regulation is suggested as a transdiagnostic factor across anxious and depressive symptoms and a potential target for preventive interventions. This thesis aims to examine emotion regulation in association with children’s anxious and depressive symptoms and the long-term effects of the transdiagnostic preventive intervention EMOTION on anxious and depressive symptoms. Method: The data applied in this thesis stem from the Coping Kids study in Norway, with which the newly developed transdiagnostic preventive intervention EMOTION is examined in a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT). The sample included N = 795 children aged between 8 and 12 years old (M = 10 years, SD = 0.90, 58.1% girls). Results: The results from the first study are twofold. A negative association between anxious and depressive symptoms and emotion regulation was confirmed. Second, the results indicated a differentiating effect of parental gender on the association between emotion regulation and depressive symptoms. The results from the second study showed a significant improvement in emotion regulation in children receiving the EMOTION intervention. The results from the third study showed a significant reduction in internalizing symptoms in the intervention group 12 months postintervention. Conclusion: The results strengthen the argument for the importance of emotion regulation as a transdiagnostic factor in internalizing symptoms and indicate that the EMOTION intervention is effective both in improving children’s emotion regulation and in long-term symptom reduction. Furthermore, the results from the first study contribute to the field by suggesting the importance of including both maternal and paternal reports in research.
Has partsPaper 1: Løvaas, Mona Elisabeth S; Sund, Anne Mari; Patras, Joshua; Martinsen, Kristin Dagmar; Hjemdal, Odin; Neumer, Simon-Peter; Holen, Solveig; Reinfjell, Trude. Emotion regulation and its relation to symptoms of anxiety and depression in children aged 8–12 years: does parental gender play a differentiating role?. BMC Psychology 2018 ;Volum 6:42. s. 1-11 https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-018-0255-y Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Paper 2: Løvaas, Mona Elisabeth S; Sund, Anne Mari; Lydersen, Stian; Neumer, Simon-Peter; Martinsen, Kristin Dagmar; Holen, Solveig; Patras, Joshua; Adolfsen, Frode; Reinfjell, Trude. Does the transdiagnostic EMOTION intervention improve emotion regulation skills in children?. Journal of Child and Family Studies 2019 ;Volum 28.(3) s. 805-813 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-018-01324-1
Paper 3: Loevaas, M., Lydersen, S., Sund, A.M., Neumer, S-P., Martinsen, K., Holen, S., Patras, J., Adolfsen, F., Rasmussen, L-M. & Reinfjell, T. (submitted 2019) A 12-month followup of a transdiagnostic indicated prevention of internalizing symptoms in schoolaged children: The results from the EMOTION study.