SAGE Journal Articles

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SAGE Journal User Guide

Article 1:

Flynn, M., & Rudolph, K.D. (2014). A prospective examination of emotional clarity, stress responses, and depressive symptoms during early adolescence. Journal of Early Adolescence34(7), 923–939.


This study examined the proposal that difficulty understanding one’s emotional experiences (i.e., deficits in emotional clarity) would interfere with the formulation of adaptive responses to interpersonal stress, which would then predict depressive symptoms. This process was examined across 3 years (fourth to sixth grade) during early adolescence. Participants included 636 youth (338 girls, 298 boys; X age in fourth grade = 9.95, SD = .37) who completed measures assessing emotional clarity, stress responses, and depressive symptoms. Consistent with the hypothesized model, path analyses revealed that maladaptive interpersonal stress responses partially mediated the prospective contribution of deficits in emotional clarity to depressive symptoms. These findings implicate impairment in emotional understanding as a precursor to emerging interpersonal and psychological difficulties during a developmental stage of heightened vulnerability to depression, the transition to adolescence.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Describe emotional awareness, emotional clarity, and deficits to emotional clarity.
  2. Discuss the results of the study, the implications with respect to gender differences, and the implications for counselors, educators, and parents of early adolescents.
  3. Explain the concepts of mediation by engagement coping and involuntary stress response.