Volume 29, Issue 12 (3-2023)                   RJMS 2023, 29(12): 386-397 | Back to browse issues page

Research code: IR.IAU.KHSH.REC.1401.072
Ethics code: IR.IAU.KHSH.REC.1401.072
Clinical trials code: IR.IAU.KHSH.REC.1401.072

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Farrokhzad F, Izadi F. The Effectiveness of Emotional Working Memory Training on Cognitive Control and Emotion Regulation in Adolescents with A Tendency to Risky Behaviors. RJMS 2023; 29 (12) :386-397
URL: http://rjms.iums.ac.ir/article-1-7993-en.html
MA of clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology, Khomeinishahr Branch, Islamic Azad University, khomeinishahr,Iran. , farnaz.frzd@gmail.com
Abstract:   (665 Views)
Background & Aims: Adolescence is a transition period that is associated with physical, emotional and psychological changes and developments, and in which children are at greater risk for certain behaviors, including drug use, risky sexual behavior, and behavioral adjustment problems (1). Engaging in these risky behaviors and adjustment problems at an early age is particularly problematic because it is associated with many negative outcomes later in life, including pregnancy and adult substance or alcohol abuse (2). Researchers believe that risky behaviors are one of the most important factors that affect people's physical, social and psychological health (7). Therefore, the mechanisms that explain the various traumas during adolescence are said to pinpoint the protective factors that prevent the development of high-risk behaviors. It is one of the most important mechanisms for brain development processes; During adolescence, neural development is characterized by long-term growth of frontal brain regions and earlier and faster development of limbic systems (9). The joint development of these two systems and their inability precede risky behaviors during adolescence, because maturation in the prefrontal regions enables diagnostic control and regulates decision-making behavior to overcome inappropriate responses. Its growth is associated with defects in cognitive control and causes high-risk behaviors (10). On the other hand, a series of researches and other studies indicate that high-risk behaviors may also be caused by emotion regulation processes (14). Agents who use negative emotional regulation strategies and suppress their emotional responses are prone to tend to risky behaviors in order to self-control their emotional states (17). Among the treatments that have recently received a lot of attention for the advancements of the nerves is emotional working memory training, which can be effective in improving cognition and regulation of affective sciences (19, 26, 29). However, due to the fact that less researches have investigated the effectiveness of working memory training to control cognition and emotional regulation in adolescents with a tendency to risky behaviors, the purpose of this research is to investigate the effect of emotional working memory training on cognitive control and regulation. Excitement in teenagers tends to risky behaviors.
Methods: For the implementation of this research, which was in the category of semi-experimental research with a control group and of pre-test and post-test type, 30 adolescent boys who had the minimum cut-off score of the questionnaire tending to risky behaviors and other entry criteria were selected as available. They were divided into two groups of 15 people, experimental and control. The experimental group underwent 20 sessions of emotional working memory training, but the control group did not receive any intervention. All of these people were evaluated before and after the training in two stages, pre-test and post-test, with Gross and Jan (2003) emotion regulation questionnaire and (go/no-go) test. The collected data were analyzed using the Mancova multiple covariance analysis method by SPSS software version 28. The tools of this research include Iranian adolescents' risk-taking scale, emotion regulation questionnaire and test (Go/No-go). To train emotional working memory in this research, emotional memory training software based on the protocol described by Schweizer et al. was used (20). This software includes visual and auditory back-to-back emotional tasks in which a face was simultaneously presented for 500 milliseconds on a four by four matrix on the monitor screen and a word was presented for 500 milliseconds in headphones, during which the subjects pressed Pressing the button responded to one or both stimuli simultaneously. 60% of the words (such as rape and death) and faces (such as fear, sadness and anger) are emotionally negative and the rest are emotionally neutral (for example, closet and chair). The subject was required to compare whether the word Is the previous hearing similar to the presented word or not, or is the presented image compatible with the previous image or not? In order to place the subjects at their best level of performance, the lower threshold of the test was 20 and the upper threshold of the test was 60 (out of a total score of 100). That is, if the number of correct answers of the subjects for images and auditory stimuli was more than 60, one step was added to the test, and if the number of correct answers of the subjects was less than 20%, one step was reduced from the test.
Results: The results of covariance analysis and T-test showed a significant difference between the control and experimental groups in reaction speed (β = 0.89 & p < 0.01) as well as improving positive emotion regulation skills (β = 0.89 & p < 0.01). and negative (p < 0.01 & β = 0.89) in subjects. Therefore, it can be said that working memory training has a significant effect on the variables of cognitive control and emotion regulation and their components in teenagers with high-risk behaviors (P<0.05).
Conclusion: The results of this research showed that 20 sessions of continuous training of the emotional working memory program increased the cognitive control of subjects with a tendency to risky behaviors in the reaction time component of the correct answer as well as their emotional regulation from the pre-test to the post-test stage. The results of this research are consistent with the results of Friedman and Miyak's research on the increase of emotional working memory capacity after emotional working memory training; According to the results of this study, increasing the capacity of emotional working memory leads to an increase in the activity of frontal regions related to cognitive control, which improves cognitive control of people as a result (38). The results of Schweizer et al.'s research also showed that emotional working memory training can improve cognitive and emotional control and emotion regulation (39). According to the results of the present study and the results of other studies, it can be said that training emotional working memory by improving emotional regulation can reduce the tendency to risky behaviors in adolescents. Also, the application of this new treatment method by improving executive actions and cognitive control of people limits their attention to irrelevant thoughts and information and reduces risky behaviors.

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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Clinical Psychiatry

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