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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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Emotion and Mental Health: Examining Mechanisms and Moderators in the Lab and in Real Life

Emotion dysregulation is a key trans-diagnostic construct, but many questions remain unanswered about the mechanisms that explain links between emotional dysregulation and psychopathology. This symposium aims at exploring these open questions, using a diversity of methodological approaches with community and clinical samples. Using experience sampling, Thompson examines how the emotional experiences of people vary based on their MDD history, characterizing emotional disturbances in participants whose depressive episodes are in remission. Joormann focuses on the regulation of positive affect in depression showing that infrequent use of positive rumination and greater use of dampening predicted declines in positive affect in daily life. In depressed adults and adolescents, Harkness examines trajectories of cortisol responding to a lab stressor, finding that brooding and affect intensity moderate cortisol reactivity and recovery. Hallion examines regulation of worry by investigating neural mechanisms of successful and unsuccessful disengagement. Finally, Trull examines the roles of physiological and neural emotion regulation indicators in understanding the associations between interpersonal stressors and affect in clinical outpatient samples. He found that indices of emotion dysregulation moderate the relation between interpersonal stressors and fear. Taken together, these talks highlight current topics and methods in research on emotion and emotion dysregulation in psychopathology.

Jutta Joormann
Yale University

Renee J. Thompson
Washington University in St. Louis


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