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A Psychometric Evaluation of the German Version of the Responses to Positive Affect Questionnaire

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Despite the importance of negative and positive emotion for our understanding of affective disorders, research on emotion regulation has mainly focused on the regulation of negative emotion. To capture individual differences in positive emotion regulation, Feldman et al. (Cognitive Therapy and Research, 32(4): 507–525, 2008) developed the Responses to Positive Affect Questionnaire (RPA), a self-report measure of different cognitive responses to positive emotions, including self-focused rumination, emotion-focused rumination, and dampening thoughts. The main purpose of this study was to develop a German version of this questionnaire and to evaluate its psychometric properties. Participants from two independent samples (N = 403; N = 486) completed a set of questionnaires. An exploratory factor analysis within the first sample did not replicate the 3-factor model of the original English version by Feldman et al. (Cognitive Therapy and Research, 32(4): 507–525, 2008), but rather suggested a 2-factor solution with rumination and dampening reflecting the main factors. A confirmatory factor analysis within the second sample confirmed this 2-factor solution. Although model fit was generally low, both subscales showed adequate internal consistency and acceptable convergent and incremental validity with measures of self-esteem, rumination, depressive symptoms, mania symptoms, and mania vulnerability. Our results support the German RPA as a helpful measure of positive emotion regulation in research on and therapy of affective disorders. The factor structure of the RPA should be further evaluated in future studies.

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Correspondence to Larissa Wolkenstein.

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Maria Voss, Thomas Ehring, Kiara R. Timpano, Jutta Joormann, and Larissa Wolkenstein declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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This study has been approved by the institutional research ethics committee and has been performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.

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This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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

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Voss, M., Ehring, T., Timpano, K.R. et al. A Psychometric Evaluation of the German Version of the Responses to Positive Affect Questionnaire. J Psychopathol Behav Assess 41, 425–435 (2019).

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