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Facial Expression Recognition in Adolescents: Association with Psychosocial Adjustment and Peer Relationships


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between emotional facial expression recognition ability and psychosocial adjustment and peer relationships in adolescents. Using the morphing technique, we created 50 emotional faces with various emotional intensities for facial expressions of anger, fear, happiness, and sadness. The sequence of facial emotional expressions were serially presented from neutral to full-blown emotion in ascending trials. Participants were requested to stop the sequence when they recognized emotion. The sequence was opposite in descending task. The intensity of emotion recognized by participants was recorded as sensitivity to a certain emotion and the accuracy of identifying the emotion with full-blown facial expression was also recorded. Participants completed self-reported scales involving internalizing and externalizing symptoms and bullying. Further, peer relationships were assessed by peer nomination. Results showed that female adolescents recognized facial emotions more sensitively and accurately than males. Correlational analyses indicated that the level of internalizing symptoms was positively correlated with emotional sensitivity. On the contrary, externalizing symptoms were negatively correlated with emotional sensitivity and accuracy. These tendencies were found only in cases of male adolescents. Additionally, peer relationships were negatively correlated with accuracy and sensitivity to facial emotions in both boys and girls. The implications and the limitations of this study were also discussed.

청소년, 얼굴표정, 심리사회적 적응, 또래관계, adolescent, facial emotion, psychosocial adjustment, peer relationship



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