A psychometric evaluation of the Swedish version of the Responses to Positive Affect questionnaire

Nord J Psychiatry. 2014 Nov;68(8):588-93. doi: 10.3109/08039488.2014.898792. Epub 2014 Apr 14.


Background: Previous research mainly focused on responses to negative affect in relation to depression, and less on responses to positive affect. Cognitive responses to positive affect are interesting in the context of emotion regulation and emotion disorders: positive rumination is associated to hypomania risk and bipolar disorder. There is to date no questionnaire in Swedish that captures the phenomena of cognitive response styles.

Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate the replicability of the Responses to Positive Affect questionnaire (RPA) in a newly translated Swedish version and to test its psychometric properties.

Methods: Swedish undergraduates (n = 111) completed a set of self-report questionnaires in a fixed order.

Results: The hypothesized three-factor model was largely replicated in the subscales Self-focused positive rumination, Emotion-focused positive rumination and Dampening. The two positive rumination subscales were strongly associated with each other and current positive affect. The subscales showed acceptable convergent and incremental validity with concurrent measures of depression, hypomania, anxiety, repetitive negative thinking, and positive and negative affect. The model explained 25% of the variance in hypomania, but fell short in the explanation of depression.

Conclusions: The Swedish version of the RPA shows satisfactory reliability and initial findings from a student sample indicate that it is a valid measure comparable with the original RPA questionnaire. RESULTS give emphasis to the importance of further exploration of cognitive response styles in relation to psychopathology.

Keywords: Cognitive response styles; Emotion regulation; Psychometric evaluation; Response to positive affect.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Sweden
  • Young Adult