Assessing the validity of a discrete negative emotions measure and its relationship to psychological outcomes



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Texas Tech University


Research has investigated the effects of emotional expressiveness on different developmental outcomes. Whereas an abundance of work has examined positive and negative emotional expressiveness (Cassidy, Parke, Butkovsky, & Braungart, 1992; Cooley, 1992; Watson & Clark, 1984), little research has investigated specific negative emotion-negative outcome relationships. That is, few studies have examined how specific negative emotions relate to specific negative psychological outcomes. Before specific negative emotion-negative outcome relationships can be investigated, a valid measure of discrete negative emotional expressiveness is needed. Two studies attempted to create and validate a scale of emotional expressiveness for negative emotions. The initial version of a discrete negative emotions scale (DNES) was constructed in a pilot study. The scale consisted initially of 120 items that assessed twelve discrete negative emotions. Study I attempted to determine the properties of the DNES and began the task of construct validation. Study II described a revision of the DNES, based on the results of Study I and also began the process of assessing criterion validity and establishing internal and test-retest reliability. The results of the studies have implications for understanding the role of negative expressions in development. Acquiring a valid and reliable measure of discrete negative expressiveness should help teachers and counselors explain and understand problematic behaviors that a student is exhibiting, and can help parents understand how the types of emotions they express in the home can affect their child's development. Such a scale may be a valuable research tool in which these negative emotion-negative outcome relationships can be better explored and understood.



Expression, Emotions