Emotion regulation and psychopathological symptoms of Chinese school‐age children: A person‐centred and multi‐informant approach

Peipei Li, Zhuo Rachel Han
Published Online:
17 Feb 2016
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 53 Issue 1

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Emotion regulation (ER) is a critical component of children's development. Many previous studies have utilised a single‐assessment method to reflect child ER, which might result in losing important information regarding the unique contribution of each informant. With a person‐centred approach and multi‐informant reports (mother, teacher and child), the current study examined 196 children's (age M = 9.21, SD = 1.10, range = 7–11 years; 51% girls) ER patterns and their associations with psychopathological symptoms in a Chinese sample. A model‐based clustering procedure resulted in 3 ER groups: the poor family ER group (n = 36), poor school ER group (n = 120), and overall good ER group (n = 40). Significant differences were found among ER clusters on teacher‐reported child psychopathological symptoms compared on the levels of withdrawn depression, somatic complain, thought problems and attention problems. No significant differences were found on the mother‐reported psychopathological symptoms. Compared with children in the poor school or poor family ER clusters, children in the overall good ER group demonstrated fewer psychopathological symptoms at school. Our results confirmed the advantage of adopting multi‐informant assessments to fully capture children's emotional profiles and linked these profiles with children's emotional and behavioural functioning at school.

© 2016 International Union of Psychological Science