Introduction The ability to regulate emotions has been identified as a protective factor associated with a reduced risk behaviors (Schneider and Caffray, 2000). Studies show that adolescents experience more frequent and intense emotions than individuals younger or older, and that at this stage of the life cycle greatly increases the incidence of conduct disorders. However, most research on emotion regulation has focused on children, while less attention was paid to early adolescence (Eisenberg & Morris, 2002). A better understanding of the emotional development would allow a better understanding of individual differences in regulation and behavior in this period of greatest risk.
Method The sample consisted of 740 adolescents aged between 13 and 19 years (mean age = 16.70, SD=0.91). For participants, attending secondary schools, are administered the following instruments: a) Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS: Giromini, Velotti, et al. 2012), a tool that examines the overall difficulty in regulating emotions through the evaluation of six factors; Aggression Questionnaire (AQ: Fossati et al., 2009) an instrument that measures hostility and aggression through five scales and Risk-Taking and Self-Harm Inventory for Adolescents (RTSHIA: Vrouva, Fonagy, Fearon, Roussow, 2010), a self-report measure designed to assess adolescent RT and SH in community and clinical settings.
Results Preliminary results show the presence of correlations between specific difficulties in emotion regulation, hostility, risk taking and self-harm behavoir, allowing a discussion about the role of emotional regulation in this particular phase of the life cycle.