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Examining the Positive Influences of Near-Peer Relationships at Camp on the Self-Efficacy of Emotion Regulation Among Youth

Semester: Summer 2023

Presentation description

Having confidence to regulate one's emotions (emotion regulation) is important for well-being during adolescence. Social support, which can be defined as feeling cared for in a meaningful relationship, can support the development of one's belief about the their ability to successfully regulate their emotions. Relationships between youth who are similar in age (near-peer) may provide social support that fosters the development of self-efficacy in emotion regulation. Summer camp is one setting during adolescence where near-peer relationships are common; however, little is known about how these relationships support emotion regulation efficacy. In this study, we aimed to understand what about near-peer relationships at camp support youth's self-efficacy in emotion regulation. We collected open-ended survey responses from 51 youth aged 14-18 years old attending a week of camp during the summer of 2023. Our inductive thematic analysis suggested that near-peer relationships at camps can help youth become more confident in their ability to deal with their emotions. We found that youth who perceived their counselors to be close in age to them (less than 5 years older than) were more likely to report that their counselor helped them become more confident in regulating their emotions than youth who thought their counselor was older. Youth suggested that counselors helped them become more confident by sharing advice (e.g., ""give me ideas of to cope and deal with hard emotions""), listening (e.g., ""listened to what I have to say and I felt like I could trust them""), encouraging (i.e., ""encouraged me to keep going and reassured me that things would be okay""), teaching strategies (i.e., ""taught us to talk to you other people about it and get different opinions""), and providing emotional support (i.e., ""ask how was our days. Whether our day was good or bad she would always step out of her way to make our days better""). These findings may help inform practice at camp and other youth development programs where near-peer relationships are common.

Presenter Name: Seunghee Moon
Presentation Type: Poster
Presentation Format: In Person
Presentation #38
College: Social & Behavioral Science
School / Department: Psychology
Research Mentor: Rob Lubeznik-Warner
Date | Time: Thursday, Aug 3rd | 10:30 AM