Changes in Problematic Anger, Shame, and Disgust in Anxious and Depressed Adults Undergoing Treatment for Emotion Dysregulation.
Emotion dysregulation, the pervasive difficulty managing negative emotions, is a core problem across mood and anxiety disorders. Anger, shame, and disgust are particularly problematic emotions, impacting both disorder severity and treatment outcome. We previously found that a 16-week dialectical behavior therapy skills training group (DBT-ST) was superior to an activities-based support group (ASG) in decreasing emotion dysregulation in 44 adults with high emotion dysregulation who met diagnostic criteria for an anxiety or depressive disorder. We presently examine these participants' changes in anger, shame, disgust, and distress using self-reports collected over 6 months during and after treatment. Hierarchical linear modeling analyses show that DBT-ST was superior to ASG in decreasing anger suppression (d = 0.93) and distress (d = 1.04). Both conditions significantly reduced shame, disgust propensity, and disgust sensitivity, but neither was superior for these outcomes. The treatments did not significantly reduce anger expression. Mediation analyses suggest that condition indirectly influenced 4-month anger suppression, shame, and distress through its effect on 2-month emotion dysregulation. These findings suggest that DBT-ST is efficacious for certain problematic emotions and distress in depressed and anxious adults and that common factors may account for some, but not all, of its benefits.
Neacsiu, AD; Rompogren, J; Eberle, JW; McMahon, K
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