The Relation Between Emotional Dysregulation and Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms, Pain-Related Anxiety, and HIV-Symptom Distress Among Adults with HIV/AIDS

Abstract

The current study investigated the relations between emotional dysregulation and anxiety and depressive symptoms, pain-related anxiety, and HIV-symptom distress among individuals living with HIV/AIDS. This research is important in its explanatory value regarding the unique effects of emotional dysregulation as it relates to psychological and disease-specific distress given high rates of distress specific to HIV infection (e.g. medicatin side-effects, stigma). Participants included 164 adults (17.1 % female, Mage = 48.40, SD = 9.57) with HIV/AIDS. Results indicated that emotional dysregulation was significantly and positively related to anxiety and depressive symptoms, pain-related anxiety, and HIV-symptom distress. All emotional dyregulation effects were evidenced above and beyond the variance accounted for by demographic and HIV-specific characteristics, and the main effects of anxiety sensitivity and distress intolerance. Findings are discussed in terms of the importance of emotional dysregulation in negative affective experiences within the HIV/AIDS population.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Post hoc analyses examining the effects of the DERS-subscales on all criterion variables were run but did not yield consistent, significant results and thus were not included in the present article. Future work would do well to examine sub-facets of emotional dysregulation to identify particular explanatory components of most relevance to psychological distress and HIV-symptom specific distress among the HIV/AIDS population. These supplementary analyses can be obtained upon request from Charles P. Brandt.

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Acknowledgment

This project was funded by a McNeil Prevention and Community Psychology grant awarded to Dr. Gonzalez and a University of Vermont Undergraduate Research Endeavors Competitive Award granted to Justin Parent. We would like to thank Mr. Parent for his work in data management and Michael Hickey and Village Care in New York City for their recruitment efforts.

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Correspondence to Charles P. Brandt.

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Brandt, C.P., Gonzalez, A., Grover, K.W. et al. The Relation Between Emotional Dysregulation and Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms, Pain-Related Anxiety, and HIV-Symptom Distress Among Adults with HIV/AIDS. J Psychopathol Behav Assess 35, 197–204 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-012-9329-y

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Keywords

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Depression
  • ANXIETY
  • Emotion dysregulation
  • Pain anxiety
  • Symptom distress
  • Anxiety sensitivity