Difficulties in Interpersonal Emotion Regulation: Initial Development and Validation of a Self-Report Measure

  • Katherine L. Dixon-GordonEmail author
  • Lauren A. Haliczer
  • Lindsey C. Conkey
  • Diana J. Whalen


Recent attention has focused on the role of interpersonal emotion regulation (IER) in the development and maintenance of a range of forms of psychopathology, including anxiety, depression, and borderline personality disorder (BPD). Despite the relevance of IER in psychopathology, few measures exist to characterize patterns of maladaptive IER. Our aim was to (1) develop a measure of maladaptive IER, (2) begin to explore the factor structure of this new measure, the difficulties in interpersonal regulation of emotions (DIRE), and (3) examine its association with symptoms of psychopathology. In Study 1, 853 Mechanical Turk workers completed the DIRE and measures of psychopathology symptoms. We identified two factors each in the IER and intrapersonal emotion regulation scales. In Study 2, 142 undergraduate students completed the DIRE and daily measures of emotion regulation and coping for 14 days. Preliminary findings suggest that the DIRE has adequate internal consistency and construct and predictive validity. This measure has the potential to supplement future efforts in assessing IER in psychopathology.


Emotion regulation Emotion dysregulation Interpersonal emotion regulation Psychopathology Questionnaire 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Authors Katherine L. Dixon-Gordon, Lauren A. Haliczer, Lindsey Conkey, and Diana J. Whalen declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Experiment Participants

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine L. Dixon-Gordon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lauren A. Haliczer
    • 1
  • Lindsey C. Conkey
    • 1
  • Diana J. Whalen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

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