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Friendship quality, emotion understanding, and emotion regulation of children with and without attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder or specific learning disorder
Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-11-25, DOI: 10.1080/13632752.2021.2001923
Sofia Kouvava, Katerina Antonopoulou, Constantinos M. Kokkinos, Assimina M. Ralli, Katerina Maridaki-Kassotaki

ABSTRACT

Understanding and regulating emotions influence children’s friendships. Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Specific Learning Disorder (SLD) have difficulties in understanding emotions and in controlling themselves. Τhe present study examines how children’s friendships and their quality may be affected by emotion understanding and regulation skills. Participants were 64 children with ADHD, 64 children with SLD, and 64 typically developing (TD) children (Mage = 9.77 years, SD = 1.22) who answered questionnaires about their friendships, and their emotion understanding and regulation. Results showed that ADHD children had less friends, lower friendship qualities, worse understanding of emotions and control of their impulsivity, and used less cognitive reappraisals to regulate emotions, followed by SLD children and finally by TD children. Children with SLD reported using more expressive suppressions for regulating emotions. For all children, emotion understanding and regulation predicted higher friendship quality. The results support the significance of understanding and regulating emotions upon the quality of children’s best friendships.