Delineating components of emotion and its dysregulation in anxiety and mood psychopathology

Behav Ther. 2007 Sep;38(3):284-302. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2006.09.001. Epub 2007 May 9.

Abstract

Two studies sought to elucidate the components of emotion and its dysregulation and examine their role in both the overlap and distinctness of the symptoms of 3 highly comorbid anxiety and mood disorders (i.e., generalized anxiety disorder, major depression, and social anxiety disorder). In Study 1, exploratory factor analyses demonstrated that 4 factors--heightened intensity of emotions, poor understanding of emotions, negative reactivity to emotions, and maladaptive management of emotions--best reflected the structure of 4 commonly used measures of emotion function and dysregulation. In Study 2, a separate sample provided support for this 4-factor model of emotion dysregulation. Poor understanding, negative reactivity, and maladaptive management were found to relate to a latent factor of emotion dysregulation. In contrast, heightened intensity of emotions was better characterized separately, suggesting it may relate more strongly to dispositional emotion generation or emotionality. Finally, the 4 components demonstrated both common and specific relationships to self-reported symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, major depression, and social anxiety disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Arousal
  • Character
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology*
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology*
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychopathology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology
  • Students / psychology