The Effects of Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms on Daily Positive Emotion Regulation

  • Jenna R. Carl
  • Christopher P. Fairholme
  • Matthew W. Gallagher
  • Johanna Thompson-Hollands
  • David H. Barlow
Article

Abstract

Individuals with anxiety and depressive symptoms exhibit disturbances in positive emotion regulation, which may hinder full recovery. By comparison, individuals with strong beliefs regarding their capacity to “savor” or maintain positive emotions (i.e., savoring beliefs) display more adaptive positive emotion regulation. The present daily diary study explores three momentary processes involved in positive emotion regulation, namely positive emotion reactivity, regulatory goals, and regulatory effectiveness, and examines the comparative effects of baseline anxiety and depressive symptoms versus savoring beliefs on such processes in real-life contexts. A sample of 164 nonclinical undergraduates provided baseline measures of anxiety and depressive symptom severity and savoring beliefs prior to completing 14 daily assessments of positive emotions and emotion regulatory responses to daily positive events. Results indicated that higher baseline anxiety and depressive symptom severity were associated with decreased positive emotion reactivity and increased down-regulation of positive emotions; higher baseline savoring beliefs were associated with increased positive emotion reactivity, decreased down-regulation and increased up-regulation of positive emotions. Potential clinical implications are discussed.

Keywords

Positive emotion Anxiety Depression Emotion regulation Daily diary 

References

  1. Augustine, A. A., & Hemenover, S. H. (2009). On the relative effectiveness of affect regulation strategies: A meta-analysis. Cognition and Emotion, 23(6), 1181–1220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barrett, L. F., & Russell, J. A. (1998). Independence and bipolarity in the structure of current affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 967–984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beck, A. T., Steer, R. A., & Brown, G. K. (1996). Manual for the Beck Depression Inventory-II. San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  4. Brown, T. A. (2007). Temporal course and structural relationships among dimensions of temperament and DSM-IV anxiety and mood disorder constructs. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 116(2), 313–328. doi:10.1037/0021-843X.116.2.313.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bryant, F. B. (2003). Savoring beliefs inventory (SBI): A scale for measuring beliefs about savouring. Journal of Mental Health, 12(2), 175–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bryant, F. B., & Veroff, J. (2007). Savoring: A new model of positive experience. Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  7. Bylsma, L. M., Morris, B. H., & Rottenberg, J. (2008). A meta-analysis of emotional reactivity in major depressive disorder. Clinical Psychology Review, 28(4), 676–691. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2007.10.001.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bylsma, L. M., Taylor-Clift, A., & Rottenberg, J. (2011). Emotional reactivity to daily events in major and minor depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 120, 155–167. doi:10.1037/a0021662.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Campbell-Sills, L., & Barlow, D. H. (2007). Incorporating emotion regulation into conceptualizations and treatments of anxiety and mood disorders. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (pp. 542–559). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  10. Campbell-Sills, L., Norman, S. B., Craske, M. G., Sullivan, G., Lang, A. J., Chavira, D. A., et al. (2009). Validation of a brief measure of anxiety-related severity and impairment: The Overall Anxiety Severity and Impairment Scale (OASIS). Journal of Affective Disorders, 112(1–3), 92–101. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2008.03.014.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Campbell-Sills, L., Ellard, K. K., & Barlow, D. H. (2013). Emotion regulation in anxiety disorders. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  12. Campos, J. J., Frankel, C. B., & Camras, L. (2004). On the nature of emotion regulation. Child Development, 75(2), 377–394.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Carl, J. R., Soskin, D. P., Kerns, C., & Barlow, D. H. (2013). Positive emotion regulation in emotional disorders: A theoretical review. Clinical Psychology Review, 33(3), 343–360. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2013.01.003.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Carthy, T., Horesh, N., Apter, A., & Gross, J. J. (2010). Patterns of emotional reactivity and regulation in children with anxiety disorders. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 32, 23–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Carver, C. S. (2009). Threat sensitivity, incentive sensitivity, and the experience of relief. Journal of Personality, 77(1), 125–138. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2008.00540.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Congard, A., Dauvier, B., Antoine, P., & Gilles, P. (2011). Integrating personality, daily life events and emotion: Role of anxiety and positive affect in emotion regulation dynamics. Journal of Research in Personality, 45(4), 372–384. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2011.04.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Larson, R. (1987). Validity and reliability of the experience-sampling method. Journal of Nervous And Mental Disease, 175(9), 526–536. doi:10.1097/00005053-198709000-00004.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dillon, D. G., & Pizzagalli, D. A. (2010). Maximizing positive emotions: A translational, transdiagnostic look at positive emotion regulation. In A. M. Kring & D. M. Sloan (Eds.), Emotion regulation and psychopathology: A transdiagnostic approach to etiology and treatment (pp. 229–252). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  19. Dockray, S., & Steptoe, A. (2010). Positive affect and psychobiological processes. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 35(1), 69–75. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2010.01.006.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Eisner, L. R., Johnson, S. L., & Carver, C. S. (2009). Positive affect regulation in anxiety disorders. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 23(5), 645–649. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2009.02.001.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fairholme, C. P., Boisseau, C. L., Ellard, K. K., Ehrenreich, J. T., & Barlow, D. H. (2010). Emotions, emotion regulation, and psychological treatment: A Unified perspective. In A. M. Kring & D. M. Sloan (Eds.), Emotion regulation and psychopathology: A transdiagnostic approach to etiology and treatment (pp. 283–309). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  22. Feldman, G. C., Joormann, J., & Johnson, S. L. (2008). Responses to positive affect: A self-report measure of rumination and dampening. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 32(4), 507–525. doi:10.1007/s10608-006-9083-0.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fredrickson, B. L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2, 300–319.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fredrickson, B. L. (2000). Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and well-being. Prevention and Treatment, 3(1), doi:10.1037/1522-3736.3.1.31a.
  25. Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56(3), 218–226. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.56.3.218.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fredrickson, B. L., & Levenson, R. W. (1998). Positive emotions speed recovery from the cardiovascular sequelae of negative emotions. Cognition and Emotion, 12(2), 191–220. doi:10.1080/026999398379718.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fredrickson, B. L., Mancuso, R. A., Branigan, C., & Tugade, M. M. (2000). The undoing effect of positive emotions. Motivation and Emotion, 24(4), 237–258.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Garland, E. L., Fredrickson, B., Kring, A. M., Johnson, D. P., Meyer, P. S., & Penn, D. L. (2010). Upward spirals of positive emotions counter downward spirals of negativity: Insights from the broaden-and-build theory and affective neuroscience on the treatment of emotion dysfunctions and deficits in psychopathology. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 849–864. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2010.03.002.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gross, J. J., & John, O. P. (2003). Individual differences in two emotion regulation processes: Implications for affect, relationships, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(2), 348–362. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.85.2.348.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gross, J. J., & Thompson, R. A. (2007). Emotion regulation: Conceptual foundations. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (pp. 3–24). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  31. Gruber, J., Harvey, A. G., & Purcell, A. (2011). What goes up can come down? A preliminary investigation of emotion reactivity and emotion recovery in bipolar disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 133(3), 457–466. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2011.05.009.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Heller, A. S., Johnstone, T., Shackman, A. J., Light, S. N., Peterson, M. J., Kolden, G. G., et al. (2009). Reduced capacity to sustain positive emotion in major depression reflects diminished maintenance of fronto-striatal brain activation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(52), 22445–22450. doi:10.1073/pnas.0910651106.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Henriques, J. B., & Davidson, R. J. (2000). Decreased responsiveness to reward in depression. Cognition and Emotion, 14(5), 711–724. doi:10.1080/02699930050117684.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Huprich, S. K., & Roberts, C. D. (2012). The two-week and five-week dependability and stability of the Depressive Personality Disorder Inventory and its association with current depressive symptoms. Journal of Personality Assessment, 94(2), 205–209. doi:10.1080/00223891.2011.645930.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jose, P. E., Lim, B. T., & Bryant, F. B. (2012). Does savoring increase happiness? A daily diary study. Journal of Positive Psychology, 7, 176–187. doi:10.1080/17439760.2012.671345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kashdan, T. B., & Steger, M. F. (2006). Expanding the topography of social anxiety: An experience-sampling assessment of positive emotions, positive events, and emotion suppression. Psychological Science, 17(2), 120–128. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01674.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kuppens, P., Allen, N. B., & Sheeber, L. (2010). Emotional inertia andpsychological maladjustment. Psychological Science, 21, 984–991.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Larsen, R. J., & Fredrickson, B. L. (1999). Measurement issues in emotion research. In D. Kahneman, E. Diener, & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology (pp. 40–60). New York, NY: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  39. Larson, C. L., Nitschke, J. B., & Davidson, R. J. (2007). Common and distinct patterns of affective response in dimensions of anxiety and depression. Emotion, 7(1), 182–191. doi:10.1037/1528-3542.7.1.182.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Light, S. N., Heller, A. S., Johnstone, T., Kolden, G. G., Peterson, M. J., Kalin, N. H., et al. (2011). Reduced right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activity while inhibiting positive affect is associated with improvement in hedonic capacity after 8 weeks of antidepressant treatment in major depressive disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 70(10), 962–968. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2011.06.031.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. MacLeod, A. K., Tata, P., Kentish, J., & Jacobsen, H. (1997). Retrospective and prospective cognitions in anxiety and depression. Cognition and Emotion, 11, 467–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nelis, D., Quoidbach, J., Hansenne, M., & Mikolajczak, M. (2011). Measuring individual differences in emotion regulation: The emotion regulation profile-revised (ERP-R). Psychologica Belgica, 51(1), 49–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Nezlek, J. B., & Kuppens, P. (2008). Regulating positive and negative emotions in daily life. Journal of Personality, 76(3), 561–580. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2008.00496.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Norman, S. B., Cissell, S. H., Means-Christensen, A. J., & Stein, M. B. (2006). Development and validation of an overall anxiety severity and impairment scale (OASIS). Depression and Anxiety, 23(4), 245–249. doi:10.1002/da.20182.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Peeters, F., Nicolson, N. A., Berkhof, J., Delespaul, P., & deVries, M. (2003). Effects of daily events on mood states in major depressive disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 112, 203–211. doi:10.1037/0021-843X.112.2.203.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Pressman, S. D., & Cohen, S. (2005). Does positive affect influence health? Psychological Bulletin, 131(6), 925–971. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.131.6.925.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Quoidbach, J., Berry, E. V., Hansenne, M., & Mikolajczak, M. (2010). Positive emotion regulation and well-being: Comparing the impact of eight savoring and dampening strategies. Personality and Individual Differences, 49(5), 368–373. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2010.03.048.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sherdell, L., Waugh, C. E., & Gotlib, I. H. (2012). Anticipatory pleasure predicts motivation for reward in major depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 121(1), 51–60. doi:10.1037/a0024945.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Stegge, H., & Terwogt, M. M. (2007). Awareness and regulation of emotion in typical and atypical development. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (pp. 269–286). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  50. Stone, A. A., Shiffman, S. S., & DeVries, M. W. (1999). Ecological momentary assessment. In D. Kahneman, E. Diener, & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology (pp. 26–39). New York, NY: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  51. Tan, P. Z., Forbes, E. E., Dahl, R. E., Ryan, N. D., Siegle, G. J., Ladouceur, C. D., et al. (2012). Emotional reactivity and regulation in anxious and nonanxious youth: A cell-phone ecological momentary assessment study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53(2), 197–206.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Thompson, R. J., Mata, J., Jaeggi, S. M., Buschkuehl, M., Jonides, J., & Gotlib, I. H. (2012). The everyday emotional experience of adults with major depressive disorder: Examining emotional instability, inertia, and reactivity. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 121(4), 819–829. doi:10.1037/a0027978.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tugade, M. M., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2007). Regulation of positive emotions: Emotion regulation strategies that promote resilience. Journal of Happiness Studies, 8(3), 311–333. doi:10.1007/s10902-006-9015-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Watson, D., & Naragon-Gainey, K. (2010). On the specificity of positive emotional dysfunction in psychopathology: Evidence from the mood and anxiety disorders and schizophrenia/schizotypy. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(7), 839–848. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2009.11.002.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54(6), 1063–1070. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.54.6.1063.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Webb, T. L., Miles, E., & Sheeran, P. (2012). Dealing with feeling: A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of strategies derived from the process model of emotion regulation. Psychological Bulletin, 138(4), 775–808.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wilamowska, Z. A., Thompson-Hollands, J., Fairholme, C. P., Ellard, K. K., Farchione, T. J., & Barlow, D. H. (2010). Conceptual background, development, and preliminary data from the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders. Depression and Anxiety, 27, 882–890.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Williams, J., Peeters, F., & Zautra, A. (2004). Differential affect structure in depressive and anxiety disorders. Anxiety, Stress & Coping: An International Journal, 17(4), 321–330. doi:10.1080/10615800412331318634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jenna R. Carl
    • 1
  • Christopher P. Fairholme
    • 2
  • Matthew W. Gallagher
    • 3
  • Johanna Thompson-Hollands
    • 1
  • David H. Barlow
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Department of PsychologyBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford University School of MedicinePalo AltoUSA
  3. 3.National Center for PTSDVA Boston Healthcare System, Boston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations