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Updated September 13, 2022

Expressive Flexibility of Youth

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Expressive Flexibility of Youth essay
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This construct is measuring youth’s expressive flexibility through a self-reported measurement tool they developed and referred to as the Child and Adolescent Flexible Expressiveness (CAFE) Scale. Expressive flexibility is measured in a two-factor structure and is defined to be the ease with which one can switch between enhancing and suppressing emotional behavior in line with situational demands.

How many items were used and do you think they exhibit face validity?

For face validity, they selected 22 items/scenarios from assorted contexts they collected and they reorganized them into scale items. I definitely think that they exhibited face validity for this study because in order for the experimenters to distinguish and identify the perceived ability of the participants, they provided either enhancement or suppression domains within each item. In addition, the questionnaire given to the participants was based on “whether you can do” and not “whether you are supposed to do” to strongly emphasize that the scale was measuring one’s ability and not one’s knowledge. From this information given, I do think that this is the best way to go about this study as it clearly shows face validity.

What evidences of validity do the authors provide? Describe each, if any.

The authors provide efficient validity for this study. First off, all items of the CAFÉ Scale are based on real-life scenarios generated by children. These scenarios were simplified for child participants by making the study items more straightforward for them. The experimenters also conducted four studies to validate their measure. In Studies 1 & 2 specifically, scale validity was assessed to validate the relationships between the CAFE scale and a series of variables. As expressive flexibility constitutes a component of emotion regulation, they examined the predictive value of the CAFE scale supplementing the validity testing with a partial correlation analysis that controlled for internal emotion regulation difficulties. In regards to the structure of the CAFE scale, they expected to find that enhancement and suppression factors were previously reported in other research.

The validity of the Café Scale was tested by charting its relationships with preexisting measures to ensure both convergent and criterion validity. Convergent validity was shown through relevant constructs of emotional expressivity and internal emotion regulation difficulties. Convergent validity was analyzed between the CAFE Scale and two emotion measures called the External Emotional Expressivity Scale (EES) and the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS). From the results of their study, it showed and was expected that children reporting a higher Enhancement score tended to be more habitually expressive. Criterion validity was shown through clinically emotional, behavioral, and social outcome variables. It was analyzed from with internalizing emotional states such as Depression (CDI) and Affect Balance (ABS). Also, as indexed in the DERS overall score, they conducted partial correlation analyses to recognize and have control over any internal emotion regulation problems. In regards to criterion validity, the expressive flexibility scores of the CAFE Scale predicted almost all variables of psychological, behavioral, and social outcomes, including lower depression, higher positive affect, lower negative affect, less problem behaviors, lower rejection from peers, and greater peer

Overall, The results of their study suggests that their measure of expressive flexibility significantly predicted youth’s psychological well-being. An addition, the results of the four studies did support the CAFE Scale’s validity and reliability, and therefore shows that it can be a useful tool for future research related to emotion regulation.

What evidences of reliability do the authors provide? Describe each, if any.

The authors also provide evidences of efficient reliability for their study. In Studies 1 and 2, they tested the reliability of the CAFE Scale, and Study 4 examined the test-retest reliability of the CAFE Scale by retesting a subsample of participants from Study 1. As the CAFE Scale generally appears to be a reliable measurement for emotion regulation, it allows for the experimenters to asses the children’s expressive flexibility. In addition, both reliability and validity analyses were based on the whole sample. Cronbach’s alpha was calculated to determine the internal consistency of the CAFE Scale items and results indicated that both enhancement and suppression had efficient internal consistencies. Overall, this study was aimed to develop the CAFE Scale as a reliable measurement for children’s and adolescent’s expressive flexibility, and I would definitely agree that it is very reliable.

 Lastly, what are your overall feelings toward this measure. Do you think it represents the construct well? What, if any, changes would you make?

I definitely think that the experimenters did a great job with their study and with their measure. Overall, their measure by using the CAFE Scale to test youth’s expressive flexibility represented the construct well. One thing I think they did extremely well was how was the extensive validity they had throughout the entirety of the study. Every bit of information was very detailed and easy to follow. One potential weakness I found in this study that I would change is that the participants were only from a sample from one primary school and one junior high school in the rural area of Shandong Province, China. Although the experimenters were able to provide 549 valid participants for the study, people in other parts of the world could have given additional insight and could have potentially concluded with different results for their study.

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