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Emotion processing in children showing disordered behaviour referred into a crime prevention programme: Identifying impairments and developing and evaluating an emotion recognition training

Hunnikin, Laura 2018. Emotion processing in children showing disordered behaviour referred into a crime prevention programme: Identifying impairments and developing and evaluating an emotion recognition training. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

Early childhood behaviour problems have been linked to later antisocial and criminal behaviour. Emotion recognition impairments are hypothesised to contribute to these negative behaviours. However, before now, no study has looked at the nature and extent of emotion recognition impairments in children with disordered behaviour and whether they can be improved. We hypothesised that whilst some children with disordered behaviour would show negative emotion recognition impairments, others would not, and that emotion recognition would improve after completing the specifically developed Cardiff Emotion Recognition Training (CERT). Secondary aims and hypotheses are included within the thesis. Ninety-two children with disordered behaviour (DB; 64 male), confirmed by their teacher using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, and who were participating in a crime prevention programme, took part. A typically developing group of 58 children (45 male) formed a comparison group. All children initially completed a Facial Emotion Recognition (FER) test. An accuracy threshold was then applied to the DB children’s FER scores, further categorising them into those with (DB+) and without (DB-) emotion recognition impairments. Only DB+ children completed the three-session CERT. All DB children then repeated the FER test. 59% of the DB children were impaired in negative and neutral emotion recognition (DB+). Completion of the CERT led to a significant improvement in fear, sadness, anger and neutral emotion recognition. This thesis has extended knowledge; up until now, no study has investigated the extent of emotion recognition impairments and whether they can be improved in the same sample of children showing disordered behaviour. This has valuable implications for practitioners; we have shown that interventions should be delivered early and target individual children’s impairments. Emotion recognition training is a viable option in case of emotion recognition problems. Research should now investigate if the improvement in emotion recognition is related to an improvement in behaviour.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Funders: Cardiff University School of Psychology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 April 2019
Date of Acceptance: 5 April 2019
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019 12:04
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/121638

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