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Behav Res Ther. 2010 Oct;48(10):974-83. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2010.06.002. Epub 2010 Jun 12.

Specificity of cognitive emotion regulation strategies: a transdiagnostic examination.

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Department of Psychology, Yale University, 2 Hillhouse Ave, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Despite growing interest in the role of regulatory processes in clinical disorders, it is not clear whether certain cognitive emotion regulation strategies play a more central role in psychopathology than others. Similarly, little is known about whether these strategies have effects transdiagnostically. We examined the relationship between four cognitive emotion regulation strategies (rumination, thought suppression, reappraisal, and problem-solving) and symptoms of three psychopathologies (depression, anxiety, and eating disorders) in an undergraduate sample (N=252). Maladaptive strategies (rumination, suppression), compared to adaptive strategies (reappraisal, problem-solving), were more strongly associated with psychopathology and loaded more highly on a latent factor of cognitive emotion regulation. In addition, this latent factor of cognitive emotion regulation was significantly associated with symptoms of all three disorders. Overall, these results suggest that the use of maladaptive strategies might play a more central role in psychopathology than the non-use of adaptive strategies and provide support of a transdiagnostic view of cognitive emotion regulation.

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