Socioemotional Functioning in Depression

University of Edinburgh, and Royal Edinburgh Hospital
DOI: 10.1002/9780470696385.ch4 In book: Mood Disorders: A Handbook of Science and Practice, pp.61 - 77


Available from: Ian H Gotlib, Jun 02, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence suggests that the inability to respond in a context appropriate manner earlier in bereavement is predictive of a protracted grief course with poorer adjustment following the loss (Coifman & Bonanno, 2010). However, little is known about the emotional behavior of adults later in bereavement and whether emotional responding becomes dsyregulated across other channels. An impressive body of evidence in the schizophrenia literature demonstrates a marked disconnection between observable displays of emotion and experienced affect within individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia (e.g., Kring & Moran, 2008). On the basis of this influential work, we examined the emotional responses of a sample of bereaved adults who lost a spouse 1.5-3 years previously. One bereaved group had complicated grief (CG) and the other was relatively asymptomatic. We used an idiographic task where participants discussed their relationships with their spouse and current attachment figure in contexts of conflict and intimacy. We measured emotional responses across 3 channels: self-reported affect, facial expressions, and emotional word use. Individuals within the CG group were less facially expressive across contexts than the asymptomatic group but in some contexts reported experiencing greater affect and used more negative emotion words. These findings suggest that complicated grief in later bereavement is characterized by a disassociation between emotional responding across channels, with context insensitive responding, restricted to facial displays of emotion. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Abnormal Psychology 05/2014; 123(2):350-361. DOI:10.1037/a0036398 · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Difficulty with effective emotion regulation is a central feature of major depressive disorder (MDD). Correlational evidence suggests that people with MDD experience elevated levels of irritability and anger, although few studies have experimentally tested this idea. The current study examined emotional reactivity across self-report (anger ratings), behavioral (task persistence), and physiological (heart rate, skin conductance) domains in response to a standardized, frustrating task in young adults with MDD (n = 74) and without MDD (n = 107). A secondary goal was to determine whether regulating emotional response with reappraisal, acceptance, or no instruction mitigated emotional reactivity across these domains. People with MDD responded with greater self-reported anger, lower galvanic skin conductance, and less task persistence (i.e., lower distress tolerance) than non-MDD individuals. Emotion regulation strategy did not differentially attenuate emotional responses between MDD groups. Instructions to accept emotions increased anger for all participants compared to reappraisal and no strategy instructions. Results confirm that enhanced anger reactivity and poor distress tolerance are present in MDD compared to healthy controls. However, additional work is needed to further develop and implement strategies that help people with MDD manage their emotional reactivity and enhance distress tolerance.
    Cognitive Therapy and Research 06/2012; 37(3). DOI:10.1007/s10608-012-9494-z · 1.70 Impact Factor
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