Adolescent Emotional Expression and Regulation: A Case Study in Malaysia

By Nor Shafrin Ahmad, Nor Hashimah Hashim and Rahimi Che Aman.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Emotional expression refers to outward display of emotion, regardless of valence (positive or negative) or channel (facial, vocal or gesture). Emotional expression is observable verbal and nonverbal behavior that communicates emotion. Emotional expression can occur with or without self-awareness. An individual can control such expression, to some extent, and may have deliberate intent in displaying it. This paper aims to identify emotional expression among adolescents in selected secondary schools around Penang, Malaysia. Five adolescents, three boys and two girls, were involved in a small scale study. Besides, three teachers were interviewed to complement the data obtained from the adolescence. Semi-structured interview were employed and the data collected were analyzed using content analysis. The findings showed that the adolescents express their emotion in various ways. Some mentioned that they wish to enjoy, would like to try something new and yearn to relax with friends, while others follow own sentiment extremely and become sensitive for girls. Most of them prefer to share their problems with their friends rather than with their parents. In addition, the adolescents said that they regulate their emotion in various ways such as they like to be alone when they are sad, hide their feeling, rationalize through positive thinking, perform prayers and go outing to enjoy with friends. Meanwhile, the teachers claimed that adolescents in Form 1 and 2 (secondary students from age 13 to 14) have stable emotion compared to those in Form 3 and 4 (secondary students from age 15 to 16), and were more aggressive when in group compared when they were alone. This study is a preliminary study and the findings will be used to develop an instrument to survey adolescent emotional expression in large scale study. The findings are expected to assist and provide information to parents, teachers and society in guiding adolescence to become a well balance human being, which is in line with the National Education Philosophy.

Keywords: Emotional Expression, Emotional Regulation, Adolescence

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.45-56. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 654.741KB).

Dr. Nor Shafrin Ahmad

Lecturer, School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Penang, Malaysia

Nor Shafrin earned her B.Ed. and M.Ed. (Guidance & Counseling) in Universiti Pertanian Malaysia and Universiti Sains Malaysia respectively. She completed her PhD in Counseling Psychology at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Earlier she worked in secondary schools for six years as guidance and counseling teacher. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia. Her research mostly focused on trauma management and crisis intervention (sexual abuse), group and individual counseling, and adolescence emotion. She is also a professional and qualified counselor, registered by Counselor Board under The Counselor’s Act 1998. She had wrote a book title ‘Management Record of Counseling and Guidance Service’ and active presenting paper in seminars. She also wrote research articles for national journals. In terms of contribution to the society, she was actively involved in giving motivational talks and giving counseling talk to staff of National Anti-Drugs Agency and schools.

Prof. Dr. Nor Hashimah Hashim

Lecturer, School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Nor Hashimah Hashim is Associate Professor of Primary and Preschool Education at School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia. She taught primary and secondary schools before pursuing her study at University of Leeds, United Kingdom for M.Ed and Ph.D. In her research, she focuses on preschool, primary and secondary levels. Her current research was developing an instrument and benchmark on adolescence emotion.

Dr. Rahimi Che Aman

Lecturer, School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Rahimi Che Aman is senior lecturer from School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia. She is registered counselor with Lembaga Kaunselor Malaysia and a mental health facilitator trainer certified by The National Board For Certified Counselor, Inc. She received undergraduate degree in guidance and counseling from Universiti Putra Malaysia, master’s degree in psychology counseling from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and doctorate at Universiti Sains Malaysia in guidance and counseling. She has working experience as a teacher in secondary school, counselor for school’s students, university’s students and trainee counselor at drugs rehabilitation centre. Her main research area is brief counseling.

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