Etude comparative de l’expérience émotionnelle subjective chez des adolescents présentant une symptomatologie dépressive associée ou non à des conduites à risques

Abstract : Relationships between risk-taking behaviors and depressive disorders in youth are considered as a complex psychopathological problematic. Previous findings showed strong correlations between substance abuse, risk-taking and depressive symptoms. But the question remains open of the potential common factors that depression and risk-taking may have. Besides researches focusing on personality dimensions, some others highlight the potential role played by emotions and their pathological functioning. In these studies, pathological emotional processing such as alexithymia or specific lack of emotional intensity was linked to both risk-taking behaviors and depressive disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate potential specific emotional profiles of adolescents engaged in pathological risk-taking or depressive symptomatology, versus adolescents presenting an association of the two. Method. 488 adolescents (mage=14,93 SD=1,44) with 257 boys (mage=15, SD=1,51) and 231 girls (mage=14,52 SD=1,23) were spread in four groups. First group was of adolescents engaged in high level risk-taking, second was that of adolescents showing both high risk-taking and high depressive symptoms, third was composed of only depressed adolescents and the fourth group was the control group with no pathological expression. The four groups completed a set of three inventories: the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Scale (YRBSS), the Level of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS) and the Differential Emotiona Scale (DES). Results. Adolescents engaged in risk-taking have the lower level of emotional awareness and subjective emotional intensity, while adolescents of the second group (depression with risk-taking) have higher level on both measures. Depressed adolescents present the higher score of emotional awareness of the pathological groups, but lower than controls. However, their level of emotional awareness of others and their subjective negative emotional intensity were higher than the control group. Discussion. The results may be explained by a specific developmental hypothesis, in which emotional awareness growth from early period of life to late childhood, allowing children to gradually experiment more and more complex subjective emotional experience. In other words, emotions may have an important role in introducing a latency time between environment stimuli and oriented responses. In case of early developmental arrest, there may be a lack of emotion information, because of poverty in emotional awareness, leading to a pathological emotional processing. Clinical implications of this interpretation are discussed.
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Vincent Bréjard, Aurélie Pasquier, Agnes Bonnet, Jean-Louis Pedinielli. Etude comparative de l’expérience émotionnelle subjective chez des adolescents présentant une symptomatologie dépressive associée ou non à des conduites à risques . L'Encéphale, Elsevier Masson, 2011, 37 (4), pp.257-265. ⟨10.1016/j.encep.2010.12.003⟩. ⟨hal-01273489⟩

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