The Ohio State University

Lifespan Adjustment Project



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The Ohio State University Lifespan Adjustment Project (LAP) is aimed at increasing our understanding of how behavior and emotion regulation develop, and whether certain experiences in childhood and adolescence place individuals at risk for later difficulties in a number of life domains. We conceptualize emotion regulation as the ability to modulate negative affective states. Individuals who develop poor emotion regulation capabilities may be vulnerable to later depression, anxiety, substance use, and/or conduct problems. It is our long-term objective to develop preventive interventions for many of these conditions through the scientific exploration of emotion regulation and its development. We are particularly concerned with family interactional patterns that may inadvertently reinforce negative affect, and with the role that these patterns play in children's social and emotional development. We see childhood and adolescence as particularly important periods during which developing autonomic systems may be vulnerable to potential long-term changes in functioning. We assess emotion regulation and other individual differences at several levels of analysis, including behavioral, psychophysiological, self-report, and observational. Among the projects we currently have underway are (a) a longitudinal assessment of conduct problems and depression in preadolescents, (b) a study of autonomic nervous system response patterns in adolescents who have attempted suicide, (c) a study of the psychophysiological correlates of positive emotionality among young adults, and (d) an exploration of autonomic anomalies in preschool children who are extremely hyperactive. These projects are funded through grants from the National Institute of Mental Health. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our work.