Development and Validation of a State-Based Measure of Emotion Dysregulation.
ABSTRACT: Existing measures of emotion dysregulation typically assess dispositional tendencies and are therefore not well suited for study designs that require repeated assessments over brief intervals. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a state-based multidimensional measure of emotion dysregulation. Psychometric properties of the State Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (S-DERS) were examined in a large representative community sample of young adult women drawn from four sites ( N = 484). Exploratory factor analysis suggested a four-factor solution, with results supporting the internal consistency, construct validity, and predictive validity of the total scale and the four subscales: Nonacceptance (i.e., nonacceptance of current emotions), Modulate (i.e., difficulties modulating emotional and behavioral responses in the moment), Awareness (i.e., limited awareness of current emotions), and Clarity (i.e., limited clarity about current emotions). S-DERS scores were significantly associated with trait-based measures of emotion dysregulation, affect intensity/reactivity, experiential avoidance, and mindfulness, as well as measures of substance use problems. Moreover, significant associations were found between the S-DERS and state-based laboratory measures of emotional reactivity, even when controlling for the corresponding original DERS scales. Results provide preliminary support for the reliability and validity of the S-DERS as a state-based measure of emotion regulation difficulties.
Project description:The psychopathological profile of patients with medication overuse headache (MOH) appears to be particularly complex. To better define it, we evaluated their performance on a targeted psychological profile assessment. We designed a case-control study comparing MOH patients and matched healthy controls (HC). Headache frequency, drug consumption, HIT-6, and MIDAS scores were recorded. All participants filled in the following questionnaires: Beck Depression Inventory-II Edition (BDI-2), trait subtest of State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-Y), Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11), Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). The primary endpoint was to establish if MOH patients have an altered psychopathological profile. The secondary endpoint was to establish whether the worst profile correlates with the worsening of headache and disability measures. We enrolled 48 consecutive MOH patients and 48 HC. MOH patients showed greater difficulty in recognition/regulation of emotions (DERS, TAS-20), depression (BDI-2), anxiety (STAI-Y), and impulsiveness (BIS-11). We found a positive correlation among DERS, BDI-2, STAI-Y, and BIS scores and MIDAS and HIT-6 scores and among DERS and headache frequency and drug consumption. MOH patients showed a high rate of emotion regulation difficulties, depression, and anxiety, which may negatively affect their headaches. The ability to regulate/recognize emotions may play a central role in sustaining medication overuse.
Project description:The present study aimed to examine self-reported deficits in emotion regulation (ER) among individuals with hoarding disorder (HD). Seventy-seven adult outpatients with HD and 45 age- and gender-matched healthy control (HC) participants received a diagnostic assessment and completed self-report measures of hoarding severity, depression, and anxiety. In addition, participants completed the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), which measures lack of emotional clarity (Clarity), difficulty regulating behavior when distressed (Impulse), difficulty engaging in goal-directed cognition and behavior when distressed (Goals), unwillingness to accept emotional responses (Accept), and lack of access to strategies for feeling better when distressed (Strategies). The HD group scored higher on all DERS subscales than did the HC group; self-reported ER deficits remained evident when controlling for baseline depression, anxiety, and stress. The DERS correlated significantly with hoarding severity in the HD group: acquiring was significantly correlated with DERS Impulse, Strategies, and Accept; saving was significantly correlated with DERS Accept. Correlations remained significant when controlling for depression, anxiety, and stress. Results suggest that HD is characterized by self-reported deficits in ER, and that this relationship is not solely attributable to high levels of depression and anxiety.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To examine the acceptability and initial efficacy of an emotional self-awareness treatment at reducing alexithymia and emotion dysregulation in participants with traumatic brain injury (TBI). SETTING:An outpatient rehabilitation hospital. PARTICIPANTS:Seventeen adults with moderate to severe TBI and alexithymia. Time postinjury ranged 1 to 33 years. DESIGN:Within subject design, with 3 assessment times: baseline, posttest, and 2-month follow-up. INTERVENTION:Eight lessons incorporated psychoeducational information and skill-building exercises teaching emotional vocabulary, labeling, and differentiating self-emotions; interoceptive awareness; and distinguishing emotions from thoughts, actions, and sensations. MEASURES:Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20); Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS); Trait Anxiety Inventory (TAI); Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9); State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI); Difficulty With Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS); and Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS). RESULTS:Thirteen participants completed the treatment. Repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed changes on the TAS-20 (P = .003), LEAS (P < .001), TAI (P = .014), STAXI (P = .015), DERS (P = .020), and positive affect (P < .005). Paired t tests indicated significant baseline to posttest improvements on these measures. Gains were maintained at follow-up for the TAS, LEAS, and positive affect. Treatment satisfaction was high. CONCLUSION:This is the first study published on treating alexithymia post-TBI. Positive changes were identified for emotional self-awareness and emotion regulation; some changes were maintained several months posttreatment. Findings justify advancing to the next investigational phase for this novel intervention.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:The aims of the study were to (1) validate the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS) in a sample of Spanish adults with and without eating disorders, and (2) explore the role of emotion regulation difficulties in eating disorders (ED), including its mediating role in the relation between key personality traits and ED severity. METHODS:One hundred and thirty four patients (121 female, mean age = 29 years) with anorexia nervosa (n = 30), bulimia nervosa (n = 54), binge eating (n = 20), or Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (n = 30) and 74 healthy control participants (51 female, mean age = 21 years) reported on general psychopathology, ED severity, personality traits and difficulties in emotion regulation. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to examine the psychometrics of the DERS in this Spanish sample (Aim 1). Additionally, to examine the role of emotion regulation difficulties in ED (Aim 2), differences in emotion regulation difficulties across eating disorder subgroups were examined and structural equation modeling was used to explore the interrelations among emotion regulation, personality traits, and eating disorder severity. RESULTS:RESULTS support the validity and reliability of the DERS within this Spanish adult sample and suggest that this measure has a similar factor structure in this sample as in the original sample. Moreover, emotion regulation difficulties were found to differ as a function of eating disorder subtype and to mediate the relation between two specific personality traits (i.e., high harm avoidance and low self-directedness) and ED severity. CONCLUSIONS:Personality traits of high harm avoidance and low self-directedness may increase vulnerability to ED pathology indirectly, through emotion regulation difficulties.
Project description:Background:Orthorexia nervosa (ON) is characterised by an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating and while it is not recognised as an eating disorder (or any disorder), current research is exploring similarities and differences with such disorders. The literature has shown that individuals with eating disorders have difficulties identifying and describing emotions (known as alexithymia) as well as regulating them. However no research to date has looked at whether people with orthorexic tendencies also suffer from difficulties with emotions. In this paper, we refer to people with orthorexic tendencies but do not assume that their healthy eating is at a pathological level needing clinical attention. Methods:The current study examined this by asking 196 healthy adults with an interest in healthy eating to complete four questionnaires to measure ON (ORTO-15 - reduced to ORTO-7CS), eating psychopathology (EAT-26), alexithymia (TAS-20) and emotion dysregulation (DERS-16). Results:We found that difficulties identifying and regulating emotions was associated with symptoms of ON, similar to what is found in other eating disorders. We suggest that ON behaviours may be used as a coping strategy in order to feel in control in these participants who have poor emotion regulation abilities. Conclusions:Our results show that individuals with ON tendencies may share similar difficulties with emotions compared to other eating disorders. While important, our results are limited by the way we measured ON behaviours and we recommend that further research replicate our findings once a better and more specific tool is developed and validated to screen for ON characteristics more accurately.
Project description:Background:Emotion dysregulation and negative self-directed behaviors are key characteristics of eating disorders (EDs), but their interaction in relation to ED psychopathology is insufficiently explored, and empirically robust and clinically relevant models are needed. Methods:This study examined whether the association between emotion dysregulation and ED psychopathology was mediated by different negative self-directed behaviors in 999 ED patients divided into two sub-samples based on absence or presence of objective binge-eating episodes (OBE). Several simple and extended mediation models were examined using the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS) as independent variable, the Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB) as mediator, and the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) as dependent variable. Results:An associational pathway was found where higher emotion dysregulation was associated with more negative self-directed behaviors, which in turn was associated with higher ED psychopathology. Self-directed behaviors of importance differed between patient groups. In participants without OBE, lower self-love and higher self-attack were influential, whereas in participants with OBE, lower self-affirmation and higher self-blame were influential. Conclusions:Self-directed behaviors may help to explain the association between emotion dysregulation and ED psychopathology. Our findings have both theoretical and clinical implications that are pathology-specific. Addressing specific self-directed behaviors could be an important way of helping patients deal with their emotions in relation to ED psychopathology.
Project description:Children's understanding of the nature, origins and consequences of emotions has been intensively investigated over the last 30-40 years. However, few empirical studies have looked at the relation between emotion understanding and anxiety in children and their results are mixed. The aim of the present study was to perform a preliminary investigation of the relationships between emotion understanding, anxiety, emotion dysregulation, and attachment security in clinically anxious children. A sample of 16 clinically anxious children (age 8-12, eight girls/boys) was assessed for emotion understanding (Test of Emotion Comprehension), anxiety (Screening for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders-Revised and Anxiety Disorder Interview Schedule), emotion dysregulation (Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale) and attachment security (Security Scale). Children who reported more overall anxiety also reported greater difficulties in regulating their emotions, and were less securely attached to their parents. The results also showed that more specific symptoms of anxiety (i.e., OCD and PTSD) correlated not only with emotion dysregulation and attachment insecurity but also with emotion understanding. Finally, there were interrelations among emotion understanding, attachment security, and emotion dysregulation. The present results provide the first comprehensive evidence for a socio-emotional framework and its relevance to childhood anxiety.
Project description:Difficulty controlling impulsive behaviors when experiencing negative emotions is a prominent risk factor for hazardous alcohol use, and prior research suggests that drinking to cope may mediate this association. The present study examines this possibility prospectively in a sample of 490 young adult women between the ages of 18 and 25. Participants completed measures of emotion-driven impulse control difficulties, drinking to cope, and hazardous alcohol use at 6 time points over the course of approximately 20 months (i.e., 1 assessment every 4 months). Multilevel structural equation modeling revealed that drinking to cope fully mediated the relationship between emotion-driven impulse control difficulties and hazardous alcohol use when examining these relationships between individuals and partially mediated this relation when examining these relationships within individuals. These findings suggest that drinking to cope is a key mechanism in the relationship between emotion-driven impulse control difficulties and hazardous drinking. Results highlight the importance of targeting both emotion dysregulation and drinking to cope when treating young women for alcohol use problems.
Project description:Background: Emotion regulation difficulties are central to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While cultural differences exist in the ways in which individuals regulate their emotions, researchers have not examined cultural differences in emotion regulation in PTSD.Objective: This study explored emotion regulation in individuals from European and East Asian cultures with and without PTSD. Method: Emotion regulation measures were administered to Caucasian Australian (n = 31) and East Asian Australian (n = 38) trauma survivors with and without PTSD. Results: Caucasian Australians with PTSD scored significantly higher on measures of worry, expressive suppression, thought suppression, rumination, experiential avoidance, and general emotion dysregulation compared to Caucasian Australians without PTSD. Similarly, East Asian Australians with PTSD scored significantly higher on measures of rumination and experiential avoidance than East Asian Australians without PTSD. However, worry, expressive suppression, thought suppression and general emotion dysregulation did not differentiate between East Asian Australians with and without PTSD. Conclusion: These findings suggest that there may be cultural differences in emotion regulation difficulties in PTSD and highlight the need for further research in this area.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To examine the underlying mechanisms through which steady state emotions, specifically affect and emotion regulation, influence sleep quality among young adult low-income women. DESIGN:Cross-sectional. SETTING:Stress and Health Study (2006-2012) in southeast Texas. PARTICIPANTS:A subgroup (n=392) of racially and ethnically diverse young adult women ages 18-31. MEASUREMENTS:Participants provided measures of positive and negative affect, difficulties in emotion regulation, and sleep quality. Structural equation models were designed to identify differential mediating roles of emotion dysregulation in the association between both positive and negative affect and sleep quality. RESULTS:The relationship between positive affect and improved sleep quality operated completely through domains of emotion regulation (?= -0.054, 95% CI: -0.08 to -0.03), whereas the adverse effects of negative affect exhibited both direct (?= 0.142, 95% CI: 0.06 to 0.23) and indirect (?= 0.124, 95% CI: 0.08 to 0.16) effects on poor sleep. Negative affect was associated with poor sleep quality via two pathways-it directly influenced sleep quality and it indirectly influenced sleep quality among women experiencing difficulties in emotion regulation. CONCLUSIONS:Therapies targeting improvement and maintenance of healthy emotion regulation domains, while delineating the positive affect state from the negative affect state, may lessen the burden of poor sleep quality among low-income women.