The Effectiveness of Emotion Regulation Training on Psychological Symptoms and Risky Behaviors in Child Laborers: A Quasi-Experimental Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD Student in Counseling, Department of Counseling, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Professor, Department of Counseling, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Ahvaz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahvaz, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Counseling, Masjed Soleiman Branch, Islamic Azad University, Masjed Soleiman, Iran



Introduction: This study has aimed to determine the effectiveness of emotion regulation training on psychological symptoms and risky behaviors in child laborers.
Method: In this prospective quasi-experimental study, 30 child laborers aged between 12 and 17 in Ahvaz city, Khuzestan Province, southwest of Iran were randomly assigned to the experimental group (receiving emotion regulation training) (n=15) and the control group (n=15).
At first, the participants of both groups completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Iranian Adolescents Risk-taking Scale. The participants in experimental group received the eight 90-minute session of emotion regulation training based on predetermined protocol per week, while the subjects of the control group did not receive any intervention. After the intervention, and 45 days after the training program, both groups completed the research questionnaires. Repeated measurement analysis and independent t test were used to analyze the data.
Results: Findings showed that the mean of depression, anxiety, stress, and risky behavior in the emotion regulation training group were decreased drastically immediately after the intervention in the experimental group but a small reduction was observed in the control group. The mean of the psychological factors and the risky behaviors were also lower in the experimental group. Findings revealed that intervention can reduce psychological symptoms and risky behavior in child laborers (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Emotion regulation training can be used as a preventive program for child laborers or it can be used in the form of an intervention program to reduce vulnerability in children and youths prone to risky behaviors.


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