Internalizing Symptoms in Female Adolescents: Associations with Emotional Awareness and Emotion Regulation
The transition into adolescence involves a number of changes that for many adolescents result in increased negative affect and internalizing symptoms, especially for females. In the current study we examined the direct and indirect effects of emotional awareness on internalizing symptoms by exploring the extent to which certain emotion regulation strategies influence this relationship. Participants were 123 female adolescents aged 13–16 years (M = 14.51 years) who completed measures of emotional awareness, emotion regulation (emotional reappraisal and expressive suppression), and symptoms of depression and social anxiety. Two multiple indirect effect models were conducted including both reappraisal and suppression (one for each of the dependent variables, depression and social anxiety) via the bootstrapping method. Results found that reappraisal accounted for the effect of emotional awareness on depressive symptoms but suppression accounted for the effect of emotional awareness on social anxiety symptoms. Results suggest that emotion regulation strategies play an important role in determining depressive and social anxiety symptoms and are associated with an adolescent’s level of emotional awareness.