Publications by authors named "Caterina Fiorilli"

22 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Adolescents' School Burnout: A Comparative Study between Italy and Switzerland.

Eur J Investig Health Psychol Educ 2021 Aug 11;11(3):849-859. Epub 2021 Aug 11.

Department of Human Studies-Communication, Education and Psychology, LUMSA University, 00193 Roma, Italy.

This study aimed to analyze and compare students' school burnout levels in Switzerland and Italy. Previous research has confirmed that female and older students in particular are highly exposed to burnout risk. Nevertheless, few studies have observed this phenomenon through a cross-national comparison. Data on burnout were collected from a sample of 840 adolescents (Italian students = 497; Swiss students = 343) (M = 14.98; SD = 1.06; Female = 50%). Burnout was measured using the School Burnout Inventory, and cross-cultural measurement invariance was tested. The results showed that this burnout measure was equivalent between the Italian and Swiss samples. A multivariate analysis of variance was next conducted to investigate the effects of age, gender, and nationality. Results partially confirmed our hypotheses, showing the effect of age but not of gender in explaining burnout differences among students, and between and within-group variance. In particular, the burnout risk was found to be higher in late adolescence (age 16 to 18, M = 2.73; M = 2.99; M = 3.14) than in mid-adolescence (age 13 to 15 M = 2.95; M = 3.43; M = 3.54). Furthermore, Italian adolescents were more exhausted and cynical (M = 2.99; M = 3.26) than their Swiss peers (M = 2.52; M = 2.93) when controlling for age and gender. Findings suggest further investigation of the role played by educational and cultural values may be warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe11030062DOI Listing
August 2021

Between Academic Resilience and Burnout: The Moderating Role of Satisfaction on School Context Relationships.

Eur J Investig Health Psychol Educ 2021 Jul 19;11(3):770-780. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Department of Human Sciences, University of Rome LUMSA, 00193 Rome, Italy.

School burnout is considered an extreme form of maladjustment that can seriously undermine the academic path of students who are affected. Previous studies have focused on possible protective factors, highlighting the role of academic resilience, i.e., the ability to overcome chronic adversity in the school setting. Notwithstanding this, it is equally important to explore the role of the classroom environment and the satisfaction felt by the student toward relationships with teachers and classmates. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between academic resilience and burnout and to explore the moderating role of relationship satisfaction with teachers and classmates. A sample of 576 Italian students (Female = 53.1%), aged 14-18 (M = 15.73, SD = 1.56) were involved in the study. Correlations and moderated regressions analyses were conducted to test the hypotheses. The results show academic resilience and satisfaction as inversely related to school burnout. Furthermore, the satisfaction on the relationships with classmates moderated the relation between academic resilience and burnout. Findings were discussed by highlighting the importance of promoting both individual and contextual factors to prevent burnout risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe11030055DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8314378PMC
July 2021

The Effect of Students' Perception of Teachers' Emotional Support on School Burnout Dimensions: Longitudinal Findings.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 02 17;18(4). Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Department of Human Sciences, University of Rome LUMSA, 00193 Rome, Italy.

School burnout is linked to relevant adverse consequences for students' academic careers. Thus, several authors have focused on the internal and external factors that reduce burnout, highlighting the role of teachers' support. Nonetheless, few studies addressed how students' perception of teachers' emotional support protects them from school maladaptive behaviors. The present study aimed to longitudinally investigate in a final sample of 295 Italian high school students (F = 78.6%; M = 15.78, SD = 1.48) the protective role of students' perception of teachers' emotional support dimensions on school burnout across a school year. We expected that teachers' emotional support dimensions had a significant inverse effect on students' burnout. We preliminarily investigated the study variables' associations and whether the mean levels of burnout dimensions increased throughout the school year. Correlation analysis supported the associations among the study variables, and repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) analyses highlighted that the mean levels of school burnout dimensions increased over time. Moreover, hierarchical multiple regression analyses have shown that at the beginning of the school year (T1), the teacher sensitivity dimension significantly and inversely affected emotional exhaustion by the end of the school year (T2). Our findings shed light on the role played by teacher emotional support and give suggestions on which specific facet should have to be improved to shield students from later burnout-related exhaustion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041922DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7922948PMC
February 2021

The Roles of Work-Life Conflict and Gender in the Relationship between Workplace Bullying and Personal Burnout. A Study on Italian School Principals.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 11 25;17(23). Epub 2020 Nov 25.

Department of Human Sciences, LUMSA University, 00193 Rome, Italy.

The present study sought to investigate the associations between workplace bullying and personal burnout both directly and indirectly via work-life conflict. Furthermore, the moderating role of gender in these relations was examined. Traditional research on stress at work focuses on the role of dimensions related to job tasks, demands, and organizational support in influencing the risks for stress-related problems in employees. At the same time, other experiences at work may reduce employees' well-being, such as workplace bullying and family life. Specifically, considering the detrimental role of work-life conflict, it is possible to hypothesize that it would exacerbate workplace bullying's harmful effects on employees' health. Moreover, since previous studies have reported mixed or inconsistent results when considering gender differences with the above-mentioned dimensions, it seems worth investigating the role of employee gender in representing (and response to) the bullying experiences. Building on these considerations, this work verifies whether: (1) work-life conflict mediates the relationship between workplace bullying and burnout; (2) gender moderates all the possible relationships among the constructs. Such hypotheses are verified on a sample of school principals, in light of their peculiar job role. Overall, our findings showed that: (1) Workplace bullying and burnout are associated, both with and without the perception of a concurring work-life conflict; (2) Gender does not moderate all the possible relationships among workplace bullying, work-life conflict and burnout. Overall, being female heightens the risk to perceive work-life conflict in general, as well as to be burnt out, when bullied, with and without the presence of work-life conflict; being male heightens the risk to perceive work-life conflict when bullied. Furthermore, the current findings suggest that family demands may influence school principals' feelings of exhaustion regardless of gender. These findings confirm and expand previous literature, especially concerning a less studied occupation, namely school principals, shedding a new light on their work experiences. Furthermore, the present study offers interesting implications for trainings on principal's skills and professional identity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238745DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7728080PMC
November 2020

Editorial: Well-Being of School Teachers in Their Work Environment.

Front Psychol 2020 12;11:1239. Epub 2020 Aug 12.

Department of Human Sciences, Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta University, Rome, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01239DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7438736PMC
August 2020

Students' Trait Emotional Intelligence and Perceived Teacher Emotional Support in Preventing Burnout: The Moderating Role of Academic Anxiety.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 07 2;17(13). Epub 2020 Jul 2.

Department of Human Sciences, University of Rome LUMSA, 00193 Rome, Italy.

The current study sought to investigate the role of trait emotional intelligence and perceived teacher emotional support in school burnout. Furthermore, the moderating role of academic anxiety in these relationships was examined. A sample of 493 Italian high school students (81.9% female) aged 14-19 years (M = 16.27, SD = 1.48) was involved in the study. A latent moderated structural equation approach was performed to test the hypothesized model. The results showed that both trait emotional intelligence and perceived teacher emotional support were negatively associated with school burnout. Moreover, academic anxiety moderated the relation between perceived teacher emotional support and school burnout. Specifically, when the level of anxiety was high, the protective role of perceived teacher emotional support toward burnout was weakened. Findings are discussed in light of the protective role of resources on burnout and considering the detrimental impact of academic anxiety in school settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134771DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7369914PMC
July 2020

High School Student Burnout: Is Empathy a Protective or Risk Factor?

Front Psychol 2020 13;11:897. Epub 2020 May 13.

Department of Human Sciences for Education "R. Massa", University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy.

Students' school burnout has been extensively investigated in relation to interpersonal factors such as peer relations and social adjustment. However, few studies have examined the role of individual traits such as empathic skills. Our aim in this study was to test, within a single comprehensive model, how students' empathic skills affect their levels of school burnout, both directly and indirectly via satisfaction with school relationships. A sample of 998 high school students (aged 14 to 19 years) took part in this cross-sectional study. Participants completed quantitative self-report measures of school burnout, empathic skills (both cognitive and affective), and satisfaction with school relationships (peers and teachers). Using structural equation modeling, we tested a conceptual model in which emphatic skills were hierarchically associated with satisfaction about school relationships and school burnout, while also controlling for age. The structural equation model offered an excellent fit for the empirical data. Analysis of the total, direct, and indirect effects showed that empathic skills were associated with both satisfaction about school relationships and school burnout. Satisfaction with school relationships appeared to mediate the relationship between empathy and school burnout. Students' age was also found to have statistically significant effects. The negative effect of high school students' empathic skills on their risk of school burnout may be prevented or at least reduced by helping them to develop positive and satisfying relationships with both teachers and peers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00897DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7237742PMC
May 2020

Trait Emotional Intelligence and School Burnout: The Mediating Role of Resilience and Academic Anxiety in High School.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 04 28;17(9). Epub 2020 Apr 28.

London Psychometric Laboratory, Department of Clinical, Educational, and Health Psychology, University College London, London WC1H 0AP, UK.

The main aim of the current study was to investigate the role of trait emotional intelligence (TEI) in preventing students' school burnout directly and indirectly via anxiety and academic resilience. The data were derived from a sample of 1235 high school students (962 females and 273 males), ranging in age between 13 and 17 years (mean = 15.46; stand deviation = 1.22). Structural equation modelling revealed a strong indirect effect of TEI on school burnout, mediated via anxiety and resilience. Overall, students with high TEI were less likely to experience school anxiety and more likely to exhibit resilience which, in turn, reduced school burnout risk. Findings are discussed with reference to the wider role of TEI in educational contexts and highlight the need and potential for scientifically driven interventions to enhance emotional adjustment at school and in life, more generally.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093058DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7246930PMC
April 2020

Unravelling Teacher Job Satisfaction: The Contribution of Collective Efficacy and Emotions Towards Professional Role.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 01 23;17(3). Epub 2020 Jan 23.

Department of Human Sciences, LUMSA University, 00193 Rome, Italy.

: The purpose of this paper is to explore whether, and to what extent, collective beliefs and emotions towards professional role could predict job satisfaction, above and beyond the role of self-efficacy and emotions towards students. More specifically, we expected job satisfaction to be incrementally predicted by beliefs and emotions related to professional role (collective efficacy and role-related hedonic balance). : The analysis was performed through the administration of a questionnaire to 266 Italian secondary school teachers. After having assessed measures of reliability, correlational analyses and a hierarchical regression model were performed. : Results showed that collective efficacy and hedonic balance related to professional role have a unique effect on job satisfaction, accounting for nearly the 30% of its variance. : Despite some limitations related to the cross-sectional design, the study suggests a practical implication for teacher training, as well as underlying the need to study schools from an organizational point of view. : The paper contributes to the psychological research on the role of the organizational dimensions in teachers' well-being at work.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030736DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7037006PMC
January 2020

Teachers' Burnout: The Role of Trait Emotional Intelligence and Social Support.

Front Psychol 2019 10;10:2743. Epub 2019 Dec 10.

Department of Teaching and Learning, University of Applied Science and Arts of Southern Switzerland, Locarno, Switzerland.

The current study investigates the relations among teachers' trait emotional intelligence, internal and external social support, and their levels of burnout. We hypothesized that both emotional intelligence and teachers' perceived social support were associated with low level of teachers' burnout. We further expected that internal and external support mediated the relationship between trait emotional intelligence and burnout scores. Participants were 318 in-service Italian teachers. The structural equation modeling analysis supports the idea that teachers' trait emotional intelligence is strongly and directly associated with their burnout. Furthermore, internal social support (from the teachers' workplace relationships) was more effective on burnout than support forthcoming from their external context. On the contrary, the mediation hypothesis was partially supported by the empirical data. These findings shed light on the relationship between teachers' emotional competence and their burnout experience at school.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02743DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6914833PMC
December 2019

Effect of Teachers' Happiness on Teachers' Health. The Mediating Role of Happiness at Work.

Front Psychol 2019 31;10:2449. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

Department of Human Studies, Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta, Rome, Italy.

The present study aims to expand the understanding of the effects of dispositional happiness and self-esteem, as dispositional traits, on the health of teachers, as well as to understand the role played by the working environment in generating positive affection, thus mediating between the dispositional traits and teachers' health. Two hundred and eighty-two full-time in-service teachers (93.6% female) from Rome (Italy) took part in this study. Their ages ranged from 26 to 55 ( = 40.49 years, = 5.93). Participants' teaching experience ranged from 1 to 31 years ( = 9.95 years, = 5.65). 30.6% of participants taught in kindergarten (for children aged 0-5 years), 42.6% in primary schools (for children aged 6-11 years), 15.8% in middle schools and 10.9% in high schools. A questionnaire was administered, containing: the Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS); the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES); The adapted version for teachers of the School Children Happiness Inventory (Ivens, 2007); the Physical and Mental Health Scales (SF12). The data were analyzed using the MPLUS software, version 8. Our results showed that teacher happiness at work partially mediates the relationship between dispositional happiness and teacher health, and fully mediates the relationship between self-esteem and teacher health. To the best of our knowledge, the mediational role of teacher happiness has not been addressed before, concerning these dimensions. At the same time, our findings confirmed the role of self-esteem in endorsing health-related behaviors, thus promoting physical and mental health. Moreover, according to our study findings, when teachers acknowledge their workplace as a context in which they feel happy, the impact of dispositional happiness and self-esteem on health conditions is higher. Effective measures to promote teachers' well-being are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02449DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6834691PMC
October 2019

Subjective Happiness and Compassion Are Enough to Increase Teachers' Work Engagement?

Front Psychol 2019 17;10:2268. Epub 2019 Oct 17.

Department of Business Management and Sociology, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain.

The present quantitative multi-trait cross-sectional study aims to gain a better understanding of the network of relationship between subjective happiness, compassion, levels of work engagement, and proactive strategies (self- and co-regulation) in a sample of teachers. Participants were 187 full-time in-service teachers (89% female; age = 48.5; = 7.88) from Rome, Italy. We hypothesized that subjective happiness and compassion of early childhood teachers would be related with work engagement in such a way that subjective happiness would promote the engagement of teachers. In a similar fashion, we theorized that subjective happiness would be positively related to self- and co-regulation strategies and that proactive strategies would be in turn associated to work engagement. As expected, the results revealed that subjective happiness and compassion showed effects on work engagement and that this association among constructs was mediated by the role of proactive strategies (β = 0.22, < 0.001; β = 0.37, < 0.001, respectively). Proactive strategies also have a significant direct effect on work engagement (β = 0.56, < 0.001). The study's findings suggest the importance of investing in the quality of the working environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02268DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6811656PMC
October 2019

The Impact of Emotions and Hedonic Balance on Teachers' Self-Efficacy: Testing the Bouncing Back Effect of Positive Emotions.

Front Psychol 2019 17;10:1670. Epub 2019 Jul 17.

Department of Human Science, Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta, Rome, Italy.

Emotions toward students (e.g., Chan, 2004) and professional role (e.g., O'Connor, 2008) impact teachers' self-efficacy (TSE) beliefs. The effect of positive emotions (PEs) can be explained by the broaden and build theory, stating that the higher the PEs individuals attribute to themselves, the higher the chance to build positive aspects of the self (Fredrickson, 2001). At the same time, negative emotions (NEs) at school inversely influence TSE, reducing teachers' confidence (Chan, 2004). Furthermore, Fredrickson et al. (2000)'s studies inform about the bouncing back effect of PEs on the detrimental effects of NEs on self-efficacy. Starting from these considerations, this study (1) evaluated the bouncing back effect of PEs on negative ones, when predicting self-efficacy; (2) verified whether emotions toward professional role moderated the bouncing back effect. Self-efficacy and emotions in teaching (MESI, Moè et al., 2010) were measured. Two hundred and seventy-two Italian secondary school teachers ( = 73%) were involved. PEs toward students might act as buffering factors against the detrimental effect of NEs on self-efficacy [(2,270) = 26.17, < 0.001, = 0.199]. Finally, emotions toward students and emotions toward professional role do not interact when predicting self-efficacy. The relationships with students seem to have an highly protective effect on teachers' mental health. At the same time, the perception of one's own role as detached from the teaching community may have a role in justifying the non-significant effect of emotions toward professional role in the model and shed new light on intervention objectives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01670DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6652266PMC
July 2019

Alexithymia in Young people's academic career: The mediating role of anxiety and resilience.

J Genet Psychol 2019 Jul-Aug;180(4-5):157-169. Epub 2019 Jun 5.

Department of Human Sciences, Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta , Rome , Italy.

Alexithymia prevents people from understanding and adopting verbal language to describe and regulate one's emotions. Recent studies have found that alexithymia symptoms also impact on young people's academic achievement. Nevertheless, it is worth investigating risk and protective roles played by students' academic anxiety and resilience, respectively. The authors expected that students' anxiety and resilience mediated the effect of alexithymia symptoms on students' academic burnout and performance. A sample of 257 university students answered self-report questionnaires about alexithymia, academic anxiety and resilience, and academic burnout and performance. Mediation analyses were performed by the structural equation model. Anxiety acted as a mediator between alexithymia and academic burnout and performance. Furthermore, resilience mediated the effect of alexithymia on burnout, but not on academic performance. The study provides support for preventing alexithymia consequences on young people's academic career by reducing their anxiety and promoting academic resilience. Implications of intervention programs were discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00221325.2019.1620675DOI Listing
January 2020

Alexithymia in Young people's academic career: The mediating role of anxiety and resilience.

J Genet Psychol 2019 Jul-Aug;180(4-5):157-169. Epub 2019 Jun 5.

Department of Human Sciences, Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta , Rome , Italy.

Alexithymia prevents people from understanding and adopting verbal language to describe and regulate one's emotions. Recent studies have found that alexithymia symptoms also impact on young people's academic achievement. Nevertheless, it is worth investigating risk and protective roles played by students' academic anxiety and resilience, respectively. The authors expected that students' anxiety and resilience mediated the effect of alexithymia symptoms on students' academic burnout and performance. A sample of 257 university students answered self-report questionnaires about alexithymia, academic anxiety and resilience, and academic burnout and performance. Mediation analyses were performed by the structural equation model. Anxiety acted as a mediator between alexithymia and academic burnout and performance. Furthermore, resilience mediated the effect of alexithymia on burnout, but not on academic performance. The study provides support for preventing alexithymia consequences on young people's academic career by reducing their anxiety and promoting academic resilience. Implications of intervention programs were discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00221325.2019.1620675DOI Listing
January 2020

A Cross-National Comparison on Subjective Well-Being of Kindergarten Teachers: Hong Kong and Italy.

Front Psychol 2018 18;9:2626. Epub 2018 Dec 18.

Department of Human Studies, Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta, Rome, Italy.

Teachers' subjective well-being (SWB) has received much attention, in the light of the major increase in sick leave as well as job quitting among teachers across different cultures and countries. Studies on SWB of kindergarten teachers are still scarce, since most of the academic literature is focused on teachers of primary and secondary schools. The purpose of this study was to analyze and compare kindergarten teachers' SWB in Hong Kong and Italy. 367 Hong Kong and 243 Italian kindergarten teachers completed a self-report questionnaire containing: the Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), and the General Health Questionnaires-12 (GHQ-12). The questionnaire collected also socio-demographics data. Hierarchical regression analysis showed that country belonging plays the strongest predictive role on self-esteem and mental health. Moreover, the independent -test showed higher levels of job satisfaction among Italian teachers, while Hong Kong teachers were more satisfied in pay and promotion, but less in supervision, operating condition, co-worker relationship, nature of work, and communication. Results are interpreted in the light of the differences between the two contexts considered, in terms of cultural values and educational systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02626DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6315170PMC
December 2018

Children's Mathematics and Verbal Self-concepts and Externalizing Behaviors: The Moderating Role of Peer Rejection at School.

Front Psychol 2017 1;8:1912. Epub 2017 Nov 1.

Department of Human Sciences, Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta, Rome, Italy.

Previous research has found a strong correlation between children's academic self-concept and their behavioral problems. The present study examined whether children's peer rejection moderated the relationship between children's math and verbal self-concepts and their behavioral problems at school. We expected that children's social competence, as measured by peer rejection, moderated the negative effect of low self-concept on children's externalizing behaviors. Participants were 173 children (males = 93, = 10.31 years, = 1.43). The main findings showed that peer rejection moderated the effect of both low verbal and math self-concepts on children's externalizing behavior. The results are discussed in terms of the protective factor played by children's social competence reducing the impact of low self-concept on children's externalizing behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01912DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5672014PMC
November 2017

Temperament and Social-Emotional Difficulties: The Dark Side of Learning Disabilities.

J Genet Psychol 2017 May-Jun;178(3):193-206. Epub 2017 Apr 12.

d Department of Psychology , Milan Bicocca University , Milan , Italy.

The authors compared the relations between general psychological difficulties and dimensions of temperament in children with and without learning disability (LD). The main aim was to analyze whether and to what extent children's temperament dimensions contribute to their general psychological difficulties when LD diagnosis, age, and gender are taken into account. Participants were 52 elementary school children 7-11 years old (M age = 8.61 years, SD = 1.21 years). Twenty-six of them had been diagnosed with LD. Six teachers rated their pupils with and without LD in relation to their general psychological difficulties (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) and temperament dimensions (Italian Questionnaires of Temperament). In children with LD, the main dimensions of temperament with the power to predict general psychological difficulties (i.e., emotionality and social orientation) concern these students' relationships with others (teachers and peers). The findings of the current study draw educators' and practitioners' attention to the fact that children's temperamental characteristics may affect how they experience their LD, with significant implications for their later social adjustment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00221325.2017.1304890DOI Listing
April 2018

What factors influence parents' perception of the quality of life of children and adolescents with neurocardiogenic syncope?

Health Qual Life Outcomes 2016 May 17;14:79. Epub 2016 May 17.

Department of Neuroscience and Neurorehabilitation, Clinic Psychology Unit, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, Rome, Italy.

Background: Health-related quality of life, which can be investigated using self-reports or parental reports, could help healthcare providers understand the subjective perception of well-being of children suffering from recurrent syncopal episodes. Quality of life is not only a measure of health but is also a reflection of patients' and parents' perceptions and expectations of health. This study assessed: 1) the consistency and agreement between pediatric patients' self-reports and parents' proxy-reports of their child's quality of life; 2) whether this patient-parent agreement is dependent on additional demographic and clinical or distress factors; 3) whether the parents' psychological distress influences children's and parents' responses to questionnaires on quality of life.

Methods: One hundred and twenty-five Italian children aged 6-18 years old (Mean age 12.75, SD 2.73, 48 % female) and their parents completed the Pediatric Quality of Life inventory with self-reports and parent-proxy reports, the Parenting Stress Index - Short Form questionnaire and the Child Behavior Checklist for ages 6-18. Patients' and parents' scores on quality of life were analyzed via an intra-class correlation coefficient, Spearman's correlation coefficient, Wilcoxon signed-rank test, and Bland-Altman plot.

Results: Child-rated quality of life was lower than parent-rated quality of life. However, there were no statistically significant differences between pediatric patients' self-reports and their parents' proxy-reports of on quality of life. Clinically significant patient-parent variation in pediatric health-related quality of life was observed. Differences in patient-parent proxy Pediatric Quality of Life inventory Total Scale Score scores were significantly associated with patient age.

Conclusion: Concerning parents' proxy-ratings of their children's quality of life on the Pediatric Quality of Life inventory, parental stress was found to be negatively associated with their perceptions of their child's psychological quality of life. Indeed, childhood illness is a source of stress for the whole family, and exposes family members to a greater risk of developing psychosocial difficulties. In conclusion, this study invites reflection on the use of cross-informants in investigating the quality of life of young patients with neurocardiogenic syncope and the psychological factors that influence how quality of life is perceived.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12955-016-0476-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4869310PMC
May 2016

Emotion socialization practices in Italian and Hong Kong-Chinese mothers.

Springerplus 2015 7;4:758. Epub 2015 Dec 7.

Departmento of Psychocological Studies, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, 10 Lo Ping Road, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong.

Background: Parents' emotion socialization practices are their ways of handling their children's emotional experiences in light of cultural expectations surrounding emotions. Such practices are thought to significantly affect children's social adjustment. We compared the parenting practices of Italian and Hong Kong Chinese samples in an ethnological validation study of the maternal responses to children's emotion scale (MRCES). Participants were 71 Italian mothers (M = 39.45) and 71 Hong Kong-Chinese mothers (M = 37.75) with children aged 6-9 years.

Findings: The results confirmed the two-factor structure identified by the scale's authors, namely coaching/emotion-encouraging and emotion dismissing approaches, respectively. Each of the two factors displayed satisfactory internal consistency. The Chinese mothers obtained higher scores than the Italian mothers on both subscales.

Conclusions: Our findings suggested that parents' emotion socialization practices for coping with children's emotions received different degrees of emphasis and were underpinned by different meaning in the Hong Kong and Italian cultural groups. These cultural differences are discussed in relation to their effect on children's socio-emotional development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40064-015-1550-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4671984PMC
December 2015

Effects of verbal ability and fluid intelligence on children's emotion understanding.

Int J Psychol 2014 Oct 6;49(5):409-14. Epub 2014 Jan 6.

Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, Division of Human and Social Sciences, Foro Italico University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

This study investigated the role of verbal ability and fluid intelligence on children's emotion understanding, testing the hypothesis that fluid intelligence predicts the development of emotion comprehension over and above age and verbal ability. One hundred and two children (48 girls) aged 3.6-6 years completed the Test of Emotion Comprehension (TEC) that comprised external and mental components, the Coloured Progressive Matrices and the Test for Reception of Grammar. Regression analysis showed that fluid intelligence was not equally related to the external and mental components of the TEC (Pons & Harris, 2000). Specifically, the results indicated that the external component was related to age and verbal ability only, whereas recognition of mental emotional patterns required abstract reasoning skills more than age and verbal ability. It is concluded that the development of fluid intelligence has a significant role in the development of mental component of emotion comprehension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijop.12032DOI Listing
October 2014

Emotion comprehension: the impact of nonverbal intelligence.

J Genet Psychol 2010 Apr-Jun;171(2):101-15

University Milano Bicocca, Milan, Italy.

A substantial body of research has established that emotion understanding develops throughout early childhood and has identified three hierarchical developmental phases: external, mental, and reflexive. The authors analyzed nonverbal intelligence and its effect on children's improvement of emotion understanding and hypothesized that cognitive level is a consistent predictor of emotion comprehension. In all, 366 children (182 girls, 184 boys) between the ages of 3 and 10 years were tested using the Test of Emotion Comprehension and the Coloured Progressive Matrices. The data obtained by using the path analysis model revealed that nonverbal intelligence was statistically associated with the ability to recognize emotions in the 3 developmental phases. The use of this model showed the significant effect that cognitive aspect plays on the reflexive phase. The authors aim to contribute to the debate about the influence of cognitive factors on emotion understanding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00221320903548084DOI Listing
June 2010
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