Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 206–219 | Cite as

Emotion Regulation and the Transdiagnostic Role of Repetitive Negative Thinking in Adolescents with Social Anxiety and Depression

  • David H. KlemanskiEmail author
  • Joshua Curtiss
  • Katie A. McLaughlin
  • Susan Nolen-Hoeksema
Original Article


Social anxiety and depression are common mental health problems among adolescents and are frequently comorbid. Primary aims of this study were to (1) elucidate the nature of individual differences in specific emotion regulation deficits among adolescents with symptoms of social anxiety and depression, and (2) determine whether repetitive negative thinking (RNT) functions as a transdiagnostic factor. A diverse sample of adolescents (N = 1065) completed measures assessing emotion regulation and symptoms of social anxiety and depression. Results indicated that adolescents with high levels of social anxiety and depression symptoms reported decreased emotional awareness, dysregulated emotion expression, and reduced use of emotion management strategies. The hypothesized structural model in which RNT functions as a transdiagnostic factor exhibited a better fit than an alternative model in which worry and rumination function as separate predictors of symptomatology. Findings implicate emotion regulation deficits and RNT in the developmental psychopathology of youth anxiety and mood disorders.


Repetitive negative thinking Emotion regulation Depression Social anxiety Transdiagnostic Research Domain Criteria 



This study was funded by Yale University.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

David Klemanski, Joshua Curtiss and Katie McLaughlin declare that they have no conflict of interest. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema (deceased) had no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Animal Rights

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • David H. Klemanski
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Joshua Curtiss
    • 1
    • 3
  • Katie A. McLaughlin
    • 1
    • 4
  • Susan Nolen-Hoeksema
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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