Emotional Awareness: A Transdiagnostic Predictor of Depression and Anxiety for Children and Adolescents

Amy Kranzler, Jami F. Young, Benjamin L. Hankin, John R.Z. Abela, Maurice J. Elias, Edward A. Selby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Research increasingly suggests that low emotional awareness may be associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety among children and adolescents. However, because most studies have been cross-sectional, it has remained unclear whether low emotional awareness predicts subsequent internalizing symptoms. The current study used longitudinal data to examine the role of emotional awareness as a transdiagnostic predictor of subsequent symptoms of depression and anxiety. Participants were 204 youth (86 boys and 118 girls) ages 7–16 who completed self-report measures of emotional awareness, depressive symptoms, and anxiety symptoms at baseline, as well as measures of depression and anxiety symptoms every 3 months for a year. Results from hierarchical mixed effects modeling indicated that low baseline emotional awareness predicted both depressive and anxiety symptoms across a 1-year period. These findings suggest that emotional awareness may constitute a transdiagnostic factor, predicting symptoms of both depression and anxiety, and that emotional awareness training may be a beneficial component of treatment and prevention programs for youth depression and anxiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-269
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 3 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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