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April 2, 2012

Stress reactivity and self-regulation in adolescents

Researchers from Yale University School of Medicine, were interested in understanding the impact of stress reactivity on interpersonal abilities and emotional self-regulation, according to the presence or not of maltreatment during childhood.

One hundred and sixty adolescents from a low-income area took part in this study and were exposed to a psychosocial stress task. The results show that, in general, an excessive physiological reactivity to a stressor was associated with better interpersonal abilities and good anger management. However, in adolescents who had been maltreated during childhood, the acute reaction to stress was associated with lower interpersonal abilities and lower anger management.

According to the authors, these results suggest the importance of considering that context can have an important impact on stress reactivity and its consequences.

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