Gestion de la détresse chez les adolescents

  • Recherche,
  • Santé-Sciences-Technologie,
  • Santé-social,

le 2 septembre 2018

Projet de recherche collaborative dirigé par le Prof. L. Vulliez-Coady (Laboratory of Integrative and Clinical Neurosciences, EA 481, University of Burgundy Franche-Comté) auquel le Dr. M. Szymanska a participé

How do adolescents regulate distress according to attachment style? A combined eye-tracking and neurophysiological approach


According to attachment theory, attachment representations influence emotion regulation (ER) across the lifespan. However, research into attachment-related ER in adolescence is still scarce. The aim of this study was to assess attachment-related ER using a multimodal approach, relying on behavioral and neurophysiological parameters. Attachment styles in eighty-one adolescents were assessed with the Attachment Style Interview (ASI). A distress-then-comfort paradigm based on visual stimuli (the Besancon Affective Picture Set-Adolescents) was employed to "activate" then "deactivate" the attachment system. Gaze and neurophysiological parameters of ER strategies were assessed using eye-tracking synchronized with a physiological device. During the first phase "distress exposure", attachment style was associated with the early stage of distress processing indexed by first fixation duration. Withdrawn adolescents fixated distress pictures less than other groups. Fearful adolescents showed a longer first fixation duration than withdrawn adolescents. During the following phase, "comfort-seeking", all groups initially fixed joy-complicity and comfort pictures earlier than neutral pictures, except for withdrawn adolescents, who fixated comfort pictures later than neutral pictures. Additionally, withdrawn adolescents explored comfort pictures less than enmeshed adolescents. Enmeshed adolescents explored neutral pictures less than comfort and joy-complicity pictures. Concerning neurophysiological parameters, first fixation duration correlated positively with Skin Conductance Response (SCR) rise time in fearful adolescents, while glance count correlated negatively with SCR latency in withdrawn adolescents. This study provides an innovative and objective evaluation of behavioral and neurophysiological parameters for attachment-related ER in adolescents, with a temporal resolution. These parameters constitute potential biomarkers that could contribute to our understanding of ER differences in insecure adolescents. This study was registered with the clinical trials database on August 01, 2016, under the number NCT02851810.


Adolescence; Attachment; Emotion Regulation; Gaze; Neurophysiology.

Contact :
Dr. Monika Szymanska :