Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology and Psychotherapy

READY – The Reactivity of Affect in the Daily Lives of Youth

PI: Aleksandra Kaurin

Project Duration: 2023-2024

Funding: Central Research Funding Pool of the University of Wuppertal in preparation of grant proposal for the German Research Foundation (DFG)


A significant proportion of mental disorders initially surface during childhood and adolescence, with approximately half of all lifetime mental disorders manifesting as early as age 14 (Plana-Ripoll et al., 2022; Solmi et al., 2021). Existing research underscores the critical role of affect regulation processes in the development and persistence of mental disorders, with deficits in emotional regulation negatively impacting mental health (Kaurin et al., 2020; Wenzel, Philippi, & Kaurin, preprint). Neuroticism, a personality trait closely linked to affective experiences, is recognized as an influential factor (Ringwald, Kaurin et al., 2023; Kaurin et al., 2023; Vize, Kaurin, & Wright, in press). However, the precise mechanisms linking neuroticism and affect regulation in response to stress, including the extent to which neuroticism affects the intensity, duration, variability, and reactivity of affective experiences, as well as the role of daily processes in the development and maintenance of mental disorders, remain open questions, especially in the context of childhood and adolescence. To delve deeper into this inquiry, accounting for dynamic and context-sensitive factors and age-appropriate daily stressors, this study employs participatory research methods as well as Ambulatory Assessment.  With a representative focus group consisting of adolescents, the items were tested and further developed for everyday suitability and comprehension. Ambulatory Assessment, the high-frequency, real-time data collection in individuals' everyday lives, enables the quantitative modeling of affective processes and trajectories, along with the exploration of potential influencing elements such as clinically relevant symptoms, socio-demographic variables, and individual differences.

The final sample will comprise N=100 individuals aged 12-21, including children, adolescents, and young adults. Following an introductory session involving initial self-report and informant-report assessments, participants will undergo repeated daily-life surveys over a 14-day period, using the smartphone app m-Path ( to report on their affective experiences and any potentially stressful events eight times a day. A distinctive feature of the experimental design involves the incorporation of what are known as Microbursts: Whenever youth report the experience of a stressful daily event, affect will be measured at 15-minute intervals within the subsequent hour. This high-resolution data collection method enables the precise representation of affective regulation processes and trajectories, along with clinically informative individual variations in these trajectories.

Collaborator: Aidan G. C. Wright, University of Michigan


Kaurin, A., Do, Q. B., Ladouceur, C. D., Silk, J. S., & Wright, A. G. C. (2023). Daily manifestations of caregiver- and self-reported maladaptive personality traits in adolescent girls. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 14(5), 490–500.

Ringwald, W. R., Kaurin, A., Lawson, K. M., Wright, A. G., & Robins, R. (in press). The Development of Personality – from Metatraits to Facets – across Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood in a Sample of Mexican-origin Youth. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology:  Personality Processes and Individual Differences

Kaurin, A., Dombrovski, A.Y., Hallquist, M., & Wright, A.G.C. (2020). Momentary Interpersonal Processes of Suicidal Surges in Borderline Personality Disorder. Psychological Medicine.

Vize, C.E., Kaurin, A., & Wright, A.G.C. (in press). Personality Pathology and Momentary Stress Processes. Clinical Psychological Science.
Preregistration Protocol:

Plana-Ripoll, O., Momen, N. C., McGrath, J. J., Wimberley, T., Brikell, I., Schendel, D., ... & Dalsgaard, S. (2022). Temporal changes in sex-and age-specific incidence profiles of mental disorders—A nationwide study from 1970 to 2016. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica

Solmi, M., Radua, J., Olivola, M., Croce, E., Soardo, L., Salazar de Pablo, G., ... & Fusar-Poli, P. (2021). Age at onset of mental disorders worldwide: large-scale meta-analysis of 192 epidemiological studies. Molecular Psychiatry, 1-15.

Wenzel, M., Philippi, P., & Kaurin, A. (2023, October 4). The Relevance of Everyday Emotion Regulation Knowledge for Well-Being: A Meta-Analytic Synthesis.

Last modified: 22.07.2024

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