This study aimed to evaluate an intervention designed to enhance early adolescents’ emotion regulation skill use and to decrease risk behaviors. Adolescents 12 to 14 years old (N = 420; 53 % male) with mental health symptoms were referred for participation in either an Emotion Regulation (ER) or Health Promotion (HP) intervention consisting of 12 after-school sessions. Participants completed baseline and follow-up questionnaires on laptop computers. Using a generalized analysis of covariance controlling for baseline scores, participants in the ER intervention were less likely to be sexually active and engage in other risk behaviors, such as fighting, at the conclusion of the program. Additionally, participants in the ER intervention reported greater use of emotion regulation strategies and more favorable attitudes toward abstinence. Interventions directly targeting emotion regulation may be useful in addressing health risk behaviors of adolescents with mental health symptoms.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 23, 2015
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