Assessing the validity of a discrete negative emotions measure and its relationship to psychological outcomes
Research has investigated the effects of emotional expressiveness on different developmental outcomes. Whereas an abundance of work has examined positive and negative emotional expressiveness (Cassidy, Parke, Butkovsky, & Braungart, 1992; Cooley, 1992; Watson & Clark, 1984), little research has investigated specific negative emotion-negative outcome relationships. That is, few studies have examined how specific negative emotions relate to specific negative psychological outcomes. Before specific negative emotion-negative outcome relationships can be investigated, a valid measure of discrete negative emotional expressiveness is needed. Two studies attempted to create and validate a scale of emotional expressiveness for negative emotions. The initial version of a discrete negative emotions scale (DNES) was constructed in a pilot study. The scale consisted initially of 120 items that assessed twelve discrete negative emotions. Study I attempted to determine the properties of the DNES and began the task of construct validation. Study II described a revision of the DNES, based on the results of Study I and also began the process of assessing criterion validity and establishing internal and test-retest reliability. The results of the studies have implications for understanding the role of negative expressions in development. Acquiring a valid and reliable measure of discrete negative expressiveness should help teachers and counselors explain and understand problematic behaviors that a student is exhibiting, and can help parents understand how the types of emotions they express in the home can affect their child's development. Such a scale may be a valuable research tool in which these negative emotion-negative outcome relationships can be better explored and understood.