Emotion-regulation strategies across psychopathology: A meta-analytic review.

Department of Psychology, Yale University, 2 Hillhouse Ave, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
Clinical psychology review (Impact Factor: 7.18). 11/2009; 30(2):217-37. DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2009.11.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We examined the relationships between six emotion-regulation strategies (acceptance, avoidance, problem solving, reappraisal, rumination, and suppression) and symptoms of four psychopathologies (anxiety, depression, eating, and substance-related disorders). We combined 241 effect sizes from 114 studies that examined the relationships between dispositional emotion regulation and psychopathology. We focused on dispositional emotion regulation in order to assess patterns of responding to emotion over time. First, we examined the relationship between each regulatory strategy and psychopathology across the four disorders. We found a large effect size for rumination, medium to large for avoidance, problem solving, and suppression, and small to medium for reappraisal and acceptance. These results are surprising, given the prominence of reappraisal and acceptance in treatment models, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and acceptance-based treatments, respectively. Second, we examined the relationship between each regulatory strategy and each of the four psychopathology groups. We found that internalizing disorders were more consistently associated with regulatory strategies than externalizing disorders. Lastly, many of our analyses showed that whether the sample came from a clinical or normative population significantly moderated the relationships. This finding underscores the importance of adopting a multi-sample approach to the study of psychopathology.

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