The adolescent emotional maelstrom : do adolescents process and control emotion-laden words differently to adults?

Meuter, Renata F.I. & Buckley, Leigh (2008) The adolescent emotional maelstrom : do adolescents process and control emotion-laden words differently to adults? The Mental Lexicon, 3(1), pp. 9-28.

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To determine how differences in emotion representation and/or inhibitory ability affect adolescents' responses to emotion words, 13-yr and 16-yr olds, as well as adults, were compared on the processing of emotion-laden and neutral words. Word ratings revealed that 16-yr olds tended towards perceiving all words as more arousing than did adults, irrespective of valence. Also, they rated words more negatively than 13-yr olds. Performance on an affective Simon task revealed a marked incongruency effect only for 13-yr olds (and then only for negative words) but not for 16-yr olds (who responded fastest) or adults. Performance on a sustained attention task confirmed the expected age-related increase in inhibitory ability and a concomitant increase in response latencies. Our conclusions are two-fold. First, there are age-related differences in lexical representation which appear more marked for 16-yr olds. Second, 16-yr olds are more reactive, irrespective of the emotional content they are processing, yet appear to control its impact as efficiently as adults.

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ID Code: 21238
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Emotion, Adolescence, Mental Lexicon
DOI: 10.1075/ml.3.1.03meu
ISSN: 1871-1340
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Developmental Psychology and Ageing (170102)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 16 Jun 2009 10:03
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:53

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