A double-edged sword? Sub-types of psychological flexibility are associated with distinct psychiatric disorders

C. A. Denckla, N. S. Consedine, W. J. Chung, M. Stein, M. Roche, M. Blais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: Psychological flexibility is associated with both better and worse health outcomes. The objective of this study was to differentiate two types of psychological flexibility – affective instability and interpersonal flexibility – and to estimate associations with psychiatric disorders. Method: Study participants were drawn from a large outpatient psychiatric sample that completed standard assessment batteries at an academic hospital (N = 1358, 55.5% males, mean age = 43.87, SD = 16.57). Results: Less interpersonal flexibility was associated with depressive diagnoses. Greater affective instability was associated with bipolar disorder and was negatively associated with psychotic disorders, but showed no association with depressive disorders. Conclusion: Differing degrees of flexibility and instability in emotional and interpersonal domains may be uniquely associated with specific classes of psychological disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this