Imbarazzo e regolazione emotiva in preadolescenza

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Embarrassment and emotional regulation in pre-adolescence

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The present study investigates the embarrassing experience during preadolescence. This phase of life is characterized by deep social changes, that are related to the mental reasoning and the emotion regulation abilities. We hypothesize that to be embarrassed at this age depends on understanding the judgments of others than their own behaviour and the use of emotional regulation strategies related to negative emotional states (such as rumination, self-blame, catastrophizing). The sample consisted of fifty-seven subjects (Mean age = 128.05 months; SD = 17.11) divided in two groups: the first is composed of 28 subjects (Mean age = 111.96 months; SD = 3.85), the second is composed of 29 subjects (Mean age = 143.59 months; SD = 7.89). They completed an embarrassment test about the intensity of the embarrassing experience in social situation and its explanation (descriptive vs mentalistic), a cognitive regulation questionnaire (CERQ-k) and a vocabulary test (WISC-III). The results show an evolutionary trend: the older subjects feel more embarrassed and more often use the rumination regulatory strategy than the younger children. In addition, there was a link between the constructs under investigation: the experience of embarrassment is more intense in older individuals, who provide a mentalistic explanation and who use the regulatory strategy of rumination. The results are discussed in the light of the recent debate about the role of regulatory strategy use of rumination. In fact, it can be both adaptive and maladaptive for the individual depending on the context (Marroquín, Fontes, Sciletta & Miranda, 2010). We hypothesize that with increasing age and ability to apply mentalistic reasoning to embarrassing situations, children use the strategy of rumination adaptively to the environment. Therefore, increasing the intensity of embarrassment could be instrumental in the construction and maintenance of new social bonds between peers, typical of the preadolescent period.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Embarrassment and emotional regulation in pre-adolescence
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)64-76
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Embarassing experience
  • Emotion regulation
  • preadolescence


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