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02-04-2020 | Uitgave 6/2020

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 6/2020

Co-Rumination Moderates the Relation between Emotional Competencies and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents: a Longitudinal Examination

Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology > Uitgave 6/2020
Molly E. Miller, Sarah Borowski, Janice L. Zeman
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Research suggests co-rumination during adolescence has developmental tradeoffs that result in elevated self-disclosure and intimacy between friends but also can be associated with increases in depression (Rose et al. 2007; Rose 2002). The current study further examined this paradox by assessing the role of emotional competencies in co-rumination as they predict depressive symptoms over a 2-year period. We tested whether co-rumination moderated the relation between emotional awareness and emotion regulation and depressive symptoms in reciprocated best friend dyads. At Time 1, 202 adolescents (101 same-sex best friend dyads; Mage = 12.68, 52.5% girls, 76.6% White, middle-class) reported on their emotional competencies (i.e., emotional awareness and perceptions of their friend’s anger and sadness regulation), and depressive symptoms as well as engaged in a discussion task where co-rumination was observed. Multilevel modeling (Actor-Partner Interdependence Modeling) was used to account for similarity within friend dyads. The results indicated that when girls engaged in high levels of co-rumination, poor emotional awareness was related to greater depressive symptoms in their friend. Regarding the analyses of emotion regulation, at high levels of co-rumination, Friend A’s perceptions of stronger anger regulation by Friend B predicted fewer depressive symptoms in Friend A. Stronger sadness regulation in Friend B at high levels of co-rumination predicted fewer depressive symptoms in Friend B. Our findings highlight the potentially adaptive nature of emotional competencies that may ameliorate the negative sequelae of co-rumination as adolescents are afforded the opportunity to discuss problems, better understand their emotions, skills that are then associated with fewer depressive symptoms over time.

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