Invalidation, Experiential Avoidance and Child Psychopathology
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Although it has been hypothesized that chronic emotional invalidation by a parent may have lasting effects on later ability to regulate emotions, and possibly increase the chances of experiencing symptoms of psychopathology, the possible mechanisms surrounding this relationship have not been adequately explored. Further, many investigations have used retrospective reports of invalidation, which may be subject to bias. This pilot study of 19 adolescent-parent dyads explored associations between invalidation, experiential avoidance, and child symptoms of psychopathology in a cross sectional design. Retrospective reports of invalidation as well as an observationally-coded measure of invalidation during laboratory discussions of emotion were utilized, and compared for agreement. The feasibility and acceptability of a larger investigation of these questions is also discussed. It was found that adolescent-reported recalled invalidation seemed to show a stronger pattern of association with observationally coded invalidation than do parent reports. Additionally, several alternative mechanistic hypotheses showed some promise for further exploration. This pilot study was found to be acceptable to participants; however, recruitment of adolescents from a clinical population - and their parents to participate with them - was the greatest obstacle to feasibility for a larger study.
DepartmentPsychology and Neuroscience
parental experiential avoidance
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