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72. The role of monitoring dynamics in emotion regulation abnormalities in schizophrenia
Prior studies implicate abnormalities at the identification, selection, and implementation stages of Gross’ extended process model of emotion regulation in schizophrenia. However, it is unclear whether “monitoring dynamics”, another critical component of the model, are also abnormal or what predicts those abnormalities. The current study evaluated monitoring dynamics and their associated mechanisms using 6 days of ecological momentary assessment and ambulatory psychophysiology in 36 schizophrenia outpatients and 46 healthy controls. Schizophrenia patients displayed aberrant monitoring dynamics characterized by increased rates of switching between strategies and delayed stopping of emotion regulation attempts. These abnormalities were temporally predicted by heightened autonomic nervous system response, reduced emotion regulation self efficacy, and lower emotional awareness. Findings suggest that psychosocial emotion regulation therapies for schizophrenia should incorporate elements for monitoring dynamics and indicate that emotional awareness, emotion regulation self efficacy, and autonomic response are relevant mechanistic targets.