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The modified affective control scale for adolescents: Internal consistency and discriminative ability

Geddes, Keren (2007) The modified affective control scale for adolescents: Internal consistency and discriminative ability. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Background: An increasing number of adolescents are presenting to community based mental health services with self-harm and other high-risk behaviours related to difficulties in regulating strong emotions. However, there is no measure of adolescent Emotion Regulation (ER) available. The current study modified an adult self-report measure of ER, the Affective Control Scale and tested its reliability within an adolescent population. The ability of the Modified Affective Control Scale for Adolescents (MACSA) to discriminate between matched clinical and non-clinical groups was also tested.

Methods: In study 1, the MACS-A was completed by 2,128 male and female secondary school students aged 12 to18 years, from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. In study 2, the MACS-A was completed by 60 adolescents who were currently attending a community-based mental health service and matched on gender and age to two independent samples (public school and private school systems) drawn from study 1.

Results: All four subscales and the total scale were found to be internally consistent in both clinic and non-clinic samples. Additionally, the MACS-A effectively discriminated between the clinical sample and the public and private school samples, with the clinical sample scoring significantly higher (p < .001) than both school samples on the subscales of Fear of Anger, Fear of Depressive Mood and Fear of Anxiety, and the total scale of Fear of Emotion.

Conclusions: The MACS-A was a reliable measure of ER in 12 to 18 year old adolescents as internal consistency and discriminative ability were demonstrated. The practical and theoretical significance of this new scale is discussed and recommendations for further development of the scale are made.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
Supervisor(s): Dziurawiec, Suzanne and Lee, Chris
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