Exploring the interplay of adaptive and maladaptive strategies: Prevalence and functionality of anger regulation profiles in early adolescence.


In emotion regulation research, it is common to distinguish adaptive from maladaptive emotion regulation strategies. However, little is known about their interactional impact (compensational or interfering effects) on adolescents’ adjustment. We collected longitudinal, multiple informant questionnaire data from N = 608 adolescents and their parents to examine the prevalence of adolescents’ anger regulation profiles using latent profile analysis. We identified five anger regulation profiles-an adaptive, a maladaptive, a low, a medium, and an undefined profile. The first three profiles could be replicated 1 year later, as could one additional multiple and another undefined profile. Findings supported the assumption that adaptive strategies compensate for the negative impact of maladaptive strategies, yielding negative psychosocial consequences, particularly for the maladaptive profiles. Moreover, different profiles were divergently related to adolescents’ internalizing and externalizing problems concurrently and over time. Results highlight the importance of considering both adaptive and maladaptive anger regulation strategies in prevention and psychotherapy.