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Date of Award

Fall 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most common childhood disorder effecting 3-7% of school aged children and accounting for 30-50% of mental health referrals. Recent research in the area of emotional regulation has found that youth with ADHD have more difficulty regulating emotion than youth without ADHD. This is unfortunate, as emotional dysregulation has been linked to psychopathology, poor social functioning, substance abuse and suicide. Given this information, it is extremely important that measurement of emotion regulation is adequate because without good measurement it is impossible to improve our understanding of how emotional regulation is developed, maintained and how it can be treated. Therefore, it is important that we have an ability to assess emotional regulation within the ADHD population. Currently, some measures do exist to evaluate emotional regulation. However, none have been validated for use with the ADHD population. Disagreement among researchers in the working definition of the theoretical construct and lack of emotion regulation measures has stifled progress in this field. One test that has been developed that may serve as a useful measure for research focused on intervention development is the Emotional Regulation Scale. The current study explores the psychometric properties of the Emotional Regulation Scale within a sample of youth with ADHD. Results provide preliminary reliability and validity evidence in support of the instrument. In addition, the social subscale of the scale seems to play a particularly important role with this population. Implications of these findings and recommendations for future research in this area of study are included.

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