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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337


STRAUSS, Monique et al. The development of an emotional regulation scale for adolescents. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2016, vol.46, n.3, pp.41-48. ISSN 2310-3833.

Emotional regulation is an important skill enabling or disabling the occupational engagement of adolescent clients. Evaluation is a key concept in the occupational therapy process, informing treatment approaches and outcomes. The authors could not identify a scale measuring emotional regulation strategies used by adolescent in the literature. A quantitative, descriptive study was done following a process of scale development. A survey with 78 items was designed which 404 adolescents from a tertiary institution completed. From the results, a provisional scale was developed, measuring emotional regulation strategies used by adolescents. The scale has 39 items, consisting of five emotional regulation strategy categories, named Comfort and Sharing, Antisocial behaviour, Creative Activities, Physical Activities and Eating. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) model proved the provisional scale, as well as the items, to be reliable. Further research for the development and the refinement of this scale is recommended. The use of an emotional regulation scale could assist the occupational therapist in understanding the adolescent client's emotional regulation strategies or lack thereof. Emotional regulation skills can either support or hinder a person's wellbeing and are influenced by the emotions experienced, as well as the individual's preference. Key challenges involved in regulating emotions are to choose which emotional regulation strategy to use, when to use it and how to implement it7,8.

Keywords : Emotional regulation; Adolescents; Structural Equation Modelling.

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