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Volume 28 Issue 2 (May 2019), Pages 253-498

Positive affect regulation in youth: Taking stock and moving forward (pages 323-332)

Abstract This article summarizes the four articles in the Social Development quartet focused on positive affect regulation in youth. Each article in the quartet shows that parents’ socialization of youth positive affect (e.g., encouraging, enhancing, savoring, or dampening responses) is associated with youth positive affect regulation and depressive symptoms. Further, three of the studies provide novel evidence for an indirect relationship whereby parental socialization predicts youth depressive symptoms through youth positive affect regulation. The studies include samples of youth across mid‐childhood and adolescence (7–18‐year‐olds) from three countries (the United States, Belgium, and India), and utilize several methods of assessing youth positive affect regulation or parental socialization (parent‐reported surveys, youth‐reported surveys, coded parent–child discussions). This integrative article also identifies several ways in which the study of youth positive affect regulation can be advanced. We address the conceptualization of positive affect regulation and the socialization of children's positive affect, constraints on the adaptiveness of upregulating positive emotions, methodological directions, potential moderated effects based on child characteristics such as sex or temperament, and the importance of studying outcomes beyond depression.

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