The adolescent emotional maelstrom : do adolescents process and control emotion-laden words differently to adults?
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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|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||Emotion, Adolescence, Mental Lexicon|
|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 20:03|
|Last Modified:||29 Feb 2012 23:53|
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