36430 Topic: Discussion 9Number of Pages: 1 (Double Spaced) …

36430 Topic: Discussion 9 Number of Pages: 1 (Double Spaced) Number of sources: 1 Writing Style: APA Type of document: Essay Academic Level:Master Category: Psychology Language Style: English (U.S.) Order Instructions: Attached

The Role of Emotion Regulation in Psychopathology


Emotion regulation refers to the processes through which individuals modify and manage their emotions in order to achieve certain goals. It involves strategies and techniques that influence the intensity, duration, and expression of emotions (Gross, 2002). Emotion regulation plays a crucial role in psychopathology as difficulties in regulating emotions have been linked to various mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, and borderline personality disorder (Aldao, Nolen-Hoeksema, & Schweizer, 2010; Berking & Whitley, 2014; Trull & Ebner-Priemer, 2013). This essay will discuss the role of emotion regulation in psychopathology, focusing on its impact on mood disorders.

Emotion Regulation Strategies

There are different strategies individuals employ to regulate their emotions. Gross (1998) proposed five broad emotion regulation strategies: situation selection, situation modification, attention deployment, cognitive change, and response modulation. Situation selection involves choosing specific situations that either elicit or inhibit certain emotions. Situation modification refers to modifying one’s environment to change the emotional impact. Attention deployment involves directing one’s attention toward or away from specific emotional stimuli. Cognitive change refers to modifying one’s thoughts and interpretations about an emotional situation. Lastly, response modulation involves modifying one’s physiological, behavioral, or facial responses to an emotional experience.

Impact of Emotion Regulation on Psychopathology

Difficulties in emotion regulation have been consistently associated with psychopathology, particularly mood disorders. For example, individuals with depression often exhibit maladaptive emotion regulation strategies, such as rumination and emotional suppression (Aldao et al., 2010; Berking & Whitley, 2014). Rumination involves repetitively thinking about one’s feelings, symptoms, and problems associated with them, which serves to maintain and exacerbate negative emotions (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2012). Emotional suppression, on the other hand, involves inhibiting or concealing one’s emotional expressions and experiences (Gross, 2002). Both rumination and emotional suppression have been found to predict the development and maintenance of depression (Aldao et al., 2010; Berking & Whitley, 2014).

The role of emotion regulation in anxiety disorders has also been extensively studied. Individuals with anxiety disorders often employ emotion regulation strategies that are characterized by excessive worry and avoidance (Berking & Whitley, 2014). Worry, which is a key feature of generalized anxiety disorder, involves repetitive and uncontrollable thinking about potential future threats (Laugesen et al., 2020). Avoidance, on the other hand, involves efforts to avoid situations or objects that trigger anxiety (Mennin, Holaway, Fresco, Moore, & Heimberg, 2007). Excessive worry and avoidance strategies contribute to the maintenance and exacerbation of anxiety symptoms (Berking & Whitley, 2014; Laugesen et al., 2020; Mennin et al., 2007).

In borderline personality disorder (BPD), emotion dysregulation is a central feature and contributes to the development and maintenance of the disorder (Trull & Ebner-Priemer, 2013). Individuals with BPD frequently experience intense and rapidly changing emotions and have difficulties in regulating their emotions (Trull & Ebner-Priemer, 2013). They tend to engage in maladaptive emotion regulation strategies, such as self-harm and impulsive behaviors, as a means to alleviate emotional distress (Berking & Whitley, 2014; Trull & Ebner-Priemer, 2013). However, these strategies are ineffective in the long term and further contribute to psychopathology (Berking & Whitley, 2014; Trull & Ebner-Priemer, 2013).


In summary, emotion regulation plays a crucial role in psychopathology, particularly in mood disorders. Difficulties in regulating emotions are associated with the development and maintenance of anxiety, depression, and borderline personality disorder. Maladaptive emotion regulation strategies, such as rumination, emotional suppression, worry, and avoidance, contribute to the exacerbation of psychological symptoms. Therefore, understanding and addressing emotion regulation deficits are important in the prevention and treatment of psychopathology. Future research should focus on developing effective emotion regulation interventions that can improve mental health outcomes.


Aldao, A., Nolen-Hoeksema, S., & Schweizer, S. (2010). Emotion-regulation strategies across psychopathology: A meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(2), 217-237.

Berking, M., & Whitley, B. (2014). Affect regulation training: A practitioner’s manual. Springer.

Gross, J. J. (1998). The emerging field of emotion regulation: An integrative review. Review of General Psychology, 2(3), 271-299.

Gross, J. J. (2002). Emotion regulation: Affective, cognitive, and social consequences. Psychophysiology, 39(3), 281-291.

Laugesen, N., Dugas, M. J., O’Connor, K., & Brillon, P. (2020). Emotion regulation and generalized anxiety disorder: Does worry or intolerance of uncertainty moderate the associations? Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 75, 102315.

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Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2012). Ruminative thinking and its dangers. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 51(4), 424-427.

Trull, T. J., & Ebner-Priemer, U. W. (2013). Using experience sampling methods/ecological momentary assessment (ESM/EMA) in clinical assessment and clinical research: Introduction to the special section. Psychological Assessment, 25(4), 1101-1104.