The Interplay of Negative and Positive Emotion Dysregulation on Mental Health Outcomes Among Trauma-Exposed Community Individuals


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Abstract

Objective: Emotion dysregulation is a transdiagnostic construct with relevance to a wide range of mental health outcomes. A growing literature highlights the contribution of positive emotion dysregulation to mental health outcomes. However, there remains limited understanding of the interplay of negative and positive emotion dysregulation on mental health outcomes. To address this limitation, the current study examined whether the association of positive emotion dysregulation to the mental health outcomes of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and alcohol and drug misuse was attenuated by negative emotion dysregulation. Method: Participants were 373 trauma-exposed individuals recruited from Amazon’s MTurk (Mage = 35.74 years; 57.1% female; 75.9% White). Results: Both negative and positive emotion dysregulation were positively related to PTSD, depression, and alcohol and drug misuse. Moderation analyses showed that negative emotion dysregulation did not attenuate the relations between positive emotion dysregulation and PTSD, depression, and alcohol and drug misuse. Discussion: These findings suggest that the relation of positive emotion dysregulation to mental health outcomes may not be dependent on negative emotion dysregulation, supporting the utility of both negative and positive emotion dysregulation in identifying and treating mental health outcomes in trauma-exposed individuals.

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