Equanimity to excess: Inhibiting the expression of negative emotion is associated with depression symptoms in girls

Kate Keenan, Alison Hipwell, Amanda Hinze, Dara Babinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Emotion dysregulation is often invoked as an important construct for understanding risk for psychopathology, but specificity of domains of emotion regulation in clinically relevant research is often lacking. In the present study Gross' (2001) model of emotion regulation is used to generate hypotheses regarding the relative contribution of two specific types of deficits in emotion regulation, inhibited and disinhibited expression of negative emotion, to individual differences in depressive symptoms in preadolescent girls. A sample of 232 9-year-old girls was recruited from a community based study. Depression symptoms were assessed via diagnostic interview. The mother and interviewer rated the girl's level of impairment. Questionnaires and observations were used to assess inhibited and disinhibited expression of negative emotion. Differences in inhibited expression of negative emotion typically explained more variance in depressive symptoms and impairment across informants than did disinhibited expression of negative emotion. Although disinhibited expression of negative emotion is associated with depression and impairment, inhibited expression appeared to be a necessary ingredient, suggesting that inhibited expression may be a particularly relevant deficit in emotion regulation in the development of depression in females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)739-747
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume37
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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