Title

Emotion dysregulation and posttraumatic stress disorder: a test of the incremental role of difficulties regulating positive emotions

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

7-4-2019

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Literature provides support for the role of emotion dysregulation in the development and course of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among women victims of intimate partner violence (IPV). However, a dearth of studies have examined the contribution of emotion dysregulation stemming from positive emotions to PTSD. Extending research, the current study examined (1) the bivariate association of difficulties regulating positive emotions to PTSD symptom severity, and (2) the incremental role of difficulties regulating positive emotions in PTSD symptom severity beyond difficulties regulating negative emotions. Design: Participants were 210 women victims of IPV involved in the criminal justice system because of their partners’ arrest (M age = 36.14, 48.6% African American). Methods: Participants completed empirically-supported self-report measures assessing difficulties regulating positive and negative emotions and PTSD symptom severity. Results: Difficulties regulating positive and negative emotions (overall and across each of the specific dimensions) were significantly positively associated with PTSD symptom severity. Moreover, difficulties regulating positive emotions demonstrated an incremental relation to PTSD symptom severity beyond the variance accounted for by difficulties regulating negative emotions. Conclusions: Our findings suggest the potential utility of targeting difficulties regulating positive emotions in interventions for PTSD among women victims of IPV.

Publication Title

Anxiety, Stress and Coping

Volume

32

Issue

4

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