Emotion Regulation in Depression: Reflection Predicts Recovery from a Major Depressive Episode
Little is known about the relation between individual differences in emotion regulation (ER) and the maintenance of clinical depression. This study examined whether frequency of use of four ER strategies (i.e., cognitive reappraisal, expressive suppression, reflection, and brooding) predicts recovery from a major depressive episode. At an initial appointment (Time 1), participants diagnosed with current major depressive disorder completed measures assessing symptom severity and use of ER strategies. Six months later (Time 2), participants were reassessed to determine diagnostic status (i.e., recovered or non-recovered). Results demonstrated that, after controlling for symptom severity, use of ER strategies predicted recovery status at Time 2. Specifically, use of reflection at Time 1 was a unique and significant predictor of greater chance for recovery. Results indicate that ER strategies may be utilized to predict long-term symptom maintenance and provide support for the proposition that reflection may be used adaptively among individuals diagnosed with depression.
KeywordsDepression Emotion regulation Rumination Reflection
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