Emotion regulation strategies across psychopathology: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 217-237

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


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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Available from: Amelia Aldao, Dec 23, 2014
    • "Within this Special Issue, we invited researchers to contribute empirical papers illustrating assessment paradigms and/or treatment approaches that incorporate physiological measures in clinical assessments of children and adolescents (Aldao and De Los Reyes 2015; De Los Reyes and Aldao 2015). We requested articles focusing on physiological indices known to reflect emotion regulation processes.The emotion regulation framework has increasingly demonstrated utility in characterizing patterns of dysfunction within psychopathology (e.g., Aldao et al. 2010; Kring and Sloan 2009) and it has been incorporated into the theoretical foundations and techniques underlying manualized psychosocial interventions (e.g., Barlow et al. 2004; Bilek and Ehrenrich- May 2012; Hayes et al. 1999; Linehan 1993; Mennin and Fresco 2013; Roemer et al. 2008). From an RDoC standpoint, emotion regulation is a particularly important process because it cuts across several domains of functioning (e.g., negative affect, positive affect, social processes, and regulatory systems) and units of analyses relevant to this initiative (e.g., subjective feelings, physiological arousal, and neurobiological circuitry). "
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    ABSTRACT: This article serves as the introduction to the Special Section called “Toward Implementing Physiological Measures in Clinical Assessments of Adult Mental Health.” As such, it provides an overview of the importance of integrating assessments of physiological and subjective processes in mental health assessments and discusses the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative. In addition, it summarizes the findings from the four empirical studies published in the Special Section. Collectively, these studies sought to illustrate how physiological assessments can be incorporated in mental health assessments conducted in applied research and clinic settings. In all, we hope that this Special Section will inspire the type of interdisciplinary research spanning basic and applied work that will be critical to advancing the RDoC initiative.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
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    • "The observed pattern of increased DMN core subsystem recruitment, demonstrated by suppressors on these trials, raise the possibility that in real life, interpersonal encounters may trigger among suppressors the pattern of self-referential ruminative thinking that has been linked to both depression and anxiety-related disorders (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2000). Future studies that would include assessments of ruminative thinking and habitual expressive suppression use as well as recording of brain activity during social interactions are needed to shed light on whether social situations constitute a core domain underlying the link between habitual expressive suppression use and mood-related psychopathology (Aldao et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Optimal social functioning occasionally requires concealment of one's emotions in order to meet one's immediate goals and environmental demands. However, because emotions serve an important communicative function, their habitual suppression disrupts the flow of social exchanges and, thus, incurs significant interpersonal costs. Evidence is accruing that the disruption in social interactions, linked to habitual expressive suppression use, stems not only from intrapersonal, but also from interpersonal causes, since the suppressors' restricted affective displays reportedly inhibit their interlocutors' emotionally expressive behaviors. However, expressive suppression use is not known to lead to clinically significant social impairments. One explanation may be that over the lifespan, individuals who habitually suppress their emotions come to compensate for their interlocutors' restrained expressive behaviors by developing an increased sensitivity to nonverbal affective cues. To probe this issue, the present study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan healthy older women while they viewed silent videos of a male social target displaying nonverbal emotional behavior, together with a brief verbal description of the accompanying context, and then judged the target’s affect. As predicted, perceivers who reported greater habitual use of expressive suppression showed increased neural processing of nonverbal affective cues. This effect appeared to be coordinated in a top-down manner via cognitive control. Greater neural processing of nonverbal cues among perceivers who habitually suppress their emotions was linked to increased ventral striatum activity, suggestive of increased reward value/personal relevance ascribed to emotionally expressive nonverbal behaviors. These findings thus provide neural evidence broadly consistent with the hypothesized link between habitual use of expressive suppression and compensatory development of increased responsiveness to nonverbal affective cues, while also suggesting one explanation for the suppressors' poorer cognitive performance in social situations. Moreover, our results point to a potential neural mechanism supporting the development and perpetuation of expressive suppression as an emotion regulation strategy.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Neuropsychologia
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    • "Emotion regulation (ER) abilities develop throughout childhood, adolescence and into adulthood (Thompson and Meyer, 2007). Relative impairments in ER are a marker of maladaptive social and occupational functioning, and a risk factor for psychopathology (Aldao et al., 2010). Understanding the etiology of problems with ER is therefore of critical importance (Campbell-Sills and Barlow, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Individuals exposed to childhood adversities (CA) present with emotion regulation (ER) difficulties in later life, which have been identified as risk and maintenance factors for psychopathologies. However, it is unclear if CA negatively impacts on ER capacity per se or whether observed regulation difficulties are a function of the challenging circumstances in which ER is being deployed. In this longitudinal study we aimed to clarify this association by investigating the behavioral and neural effects of exposure to common moderate CA (mCA) on a laboratory measure of ER capacity in late adolescence/young adulthood.Our population-derived sample of adolescents/young adults (N=53) were administered a film-based ER-task during functional magnetic resonance imaging that allowed evaluation of ER across mCA-exposure.mCA-exposure was associated with enhanced ER capacity over both positive and negative affect. At the neural level, the better ER of negative material in those exposed to mCA was associated with reduced recruitment of ER-related brain regions, including the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and temporal gyrus. Additionally mCA-exposure was associated with a greater down-regulation of the amygdala during ER of negative material.The implications of these findings for our understanding of the effects of mCA on the emergence of resilience in adolescence are discussed. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
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