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Concept: Emotional dysregulation


Approximately one third of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities have emotion dysregulation and challenging behaviors (CBs). Although research has not yet confirmed that existing treatments adequately reduce CBs in this population, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) holds promise, as it has been shown to effectively reduce CBs in other emotionally dysregulated populations. This longitudinal single-group pilot study examined whether individuals with impaired intellectual functioning would show reductions in CBs while receiving standard DBT individual therapy used in conjunction with the Skills System (DBT-SS), a DBT emotion regulation skills curriculum adapted for individuals with cognitive impairment. Forty adults with developmental disabilities (most of whom also had intellectual disabilities) and CBs, including histories of aggression, self-injury, sexual offending, or other CBs, participated in this study. Changes in their behaviors were monitored over 4 years while in DBT-SS. Large reductions in CBs were observed during the 4 years. These findings suggest that modified DBT holds promise for effectively treating individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Concepts: Psychology, Population, Down syndrome, Developmental disability, Disability, Emotion, Behaviorism, Emotional dysregulation


Difficulties in emotion regulation are one of the core features of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Individuals with BPD also report higher levels of experiential avoidance (EA) compared to controls. These constructs have never been studied concomitantly in adolescents. First, given the conceptual similarity of difficulties in emotion regulation and EA, the authors sought to determine whether EA provides incremental validity, above emotion dysregulation, in its association with borderline features. Second, EA was explored as a mediator in the relation between difficulties in emotion regulation and borderline features. The sample included 208 adolescents recruited from an inpatient psychiatric unit (Mage = 15.96, SD = 1.39; females = 60.1%). Borderline personality features were assessed using the self-report Borderline Personality Features Scale for Children (Crick, Murray-Close, & Woods, 2005). EA was assessed using the Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth (Greco, Lambert, & Baer, 2008), and difficulties in emotion regulation were assessed using the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (Gratz & Roemer, 2004). Greater borderline personality features were associated with significantly higher levels of EA and difficulties in emotion regulation. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that EA made a small, but significant, incremental and independent contribution to borderline features when added to a model already including difficulties in emotion regulation. In addition, EA partially mediated the relation between difficulties in emotion regulation and borderline features. EA and emotion regulation are both important targets of treatments aimed at decreasing borderline personality features in adolescents. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Borderline personality disorder, Avoidant personality disorder, Personality disorder, Histrionic personality disorder, Emotional dysregulation


Euthymic bipolar patients are often impacted by residual symptoms (RSs) that increase the risk of relapse or low functioning. We aimed to identify the perceptions of RSs, barriers to management, and service needs in euthymic bipolar patients. A qualitative methodology (focus group) was used. The interviews were investigated using a semistructured guide, tape-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed thematically. Twenty-three bipolar patients expressed concern about several RSs, such as emotional dysregulation, circadian rhythm disruption, cognitive impairment, low self-esteem, and physical symptoms. They reported concern about the impact of RSs on their functioning and about the need for more systematic assessment of RSs during interepisode visits. Selection bias may have occurred because the recruitment was limited to France and there may be cultural differences in the perceptions of RSs. Bipolar patients experienced bipolar disorder as a chronic disorder because they frequently continued to suffer from RSs associated with a functional impact.

Concepts: Psychology, Focus group, Sleep, Qualitative research, Borderline personality disorder, Bipolar disorder, Melatonin, Emotional dysregulation


Maltreatment in childhood and adolescence is a risk factor for substance use disorders (SUDs) in adulthood. This association has rarely been investigated in the light of emotion dysregulation. To fill this gap, this study examines emotion dysregulation and SUDs among adults with a history of early maltreatment.

Concepts: Avicenna, Childhood, Physical dependence, Substance abuse, Adult, Coming of age, Adulthood, Emotional dysregulation


Fear of Harm (FOH) is a pediatric onset phenotype of bipolar disorder (BD) characterized by BD plus treatment resistance, separation anxiety, aggressive obsessions, parasomnias, and thermal dysregulation. Intranasal ketamine (InK) in 12 youths with BD-FOH produced marked improvement during a two-week trial. Here we report on the open effectiveness and safety of InK in maintenance treatment of BD-FOH from the private practice of one author.

Concepts: Antidepressant, Schizophrenia, Borderline personality disorder, Bipolar disorder, Panic disorder, Social anxiety disorder, Insomnia, Emotional dysregulation


Although community violence is an established risk factor for youth aggression, less research has examined its relation with internalizing psychopathology. This study examined associations of community violence exposure with internalizing symptoms, and state and trait emotion dysregulation as mechanisms underlying these associations, in 287 adolescents aged 16-17 (45.6% male; 40.8% White). Community violence exposure was associated with internalizing symptoms, negative affect during peer evaluation, trait emotional reactivity, and infrequent problem solving. Multiple emotion dysregulation indices were also associated with internalizing symptoms. In simultaneous multiple mediator models, indirect effects of community violence on internalizing problems were significantly explained by state and trait emotion dysregulation. Findings implicate emotion dysregulation as one mechanism linking community violence exposure to adolescent internalizing symptoms.

Concepts: Psychology, Affect, Emotion, Problem solving, Affective neuroscience, Problem, Affect display, Emotional dysregulation


Bipolar disorder is a heritable disorder characterized by mood dysregulation associated with brain functional dysconnectivity. Previous research has focused on the detection of risk- and disease-associated dysconnectivity in individuals with bipolar disorder and their first-degree relatives. The present study seeks to identify adaptive brain connectivity features associated with resilience, defined here as avoidance of illness or delayed illness onset in unaffected siblings of patients with bipolar disorder.

Concepts: Family, Schizophrenia, Borderline personality disorder, Bipolar disorder, Kinship and descent, Mood, Emotional dysregulation, Hypomania


The term “Borderline Personality Disorder” (BPD) refers to a psychiatric syndrome that is characterized by emotion dysregulation, impulsivity, risk-taking behavior, irritability, feelings of emptiness, self-injury and fear of abandonment, as well as unstable interpersonal relationships. BPD is not only common in psychiatric populations, but also more prevalent in the general community than previously thought, and thus represents an important public health issue.In contrast to most psychiatric disorders, some symptoms associated with BPD may improve over time, even without therapy, though impaired social functioning and interpersonal disturbances in close relationships often persist. Another counterintuitive and insufficiently resolved question is why depressive symptoms and risk-taking behaviors can occur simultaneously in the same individual. Moreover, there is an ongoing debate about the nosological position of BPD, which impacts on research regarding sex differences in clinical presentation and patterns of comorbidity.In this review, it is argued that many features of BPD may be conceptualized within an evolutionary framework, namely behavioral ecology. According to life history theory, BPD reflects a pathological extreme or distortion of a behavioral “strategy” which unconsciously aims at immediate exploitation of resources, both interpersonal and material, based on predictions shaped by early developmental experiences. Such a view is consistent with standard medical conceptualizations of BPD, but goes beyond classic “deficit”-oriented models, which may have profound implications for therapeutic approaches.

Concepts: Psychology, Mental disorder, Abnormal psychology, Borderline personality disorder, Bipolar disorder, Personality disorder, Antisocial personality disorder, Emotional dysregulation


The purpose of this longitudinal investigation was to examine the association between emotion regulation and future insomnia (incidence and persistence).

Concepts: The Association, Emotion, Sunshine pop, Emotional dysregulation, Emotional self-regulation


Complex posttraumatic stress disorder (Complex PTSD) has been recently proposed as a distinct clinical entity in the WHO International Classification of Diseases, 11thversion, due to be published, two decades after its first initiation. It is described as an enhanced version of the current definition of PTSD, with clinical features of PTSD plus three additional clusters of symptoms namely emotional dysregulation, negative self-cognitions and interpersonal hardship, thus resembling the clinical features commonly encountered in borderline personality disorder (BPD). Complex PTSD is related to complex trauma which is defined by its threatening and entrapping context, generally interpersonal in nature. In this manuscript, we review the current findings related to traumatic events predisposing the above-mentioned disorders as well as the biological correlates surrounding them, along with their clinical features. Furthermore, we suggest that besides the present distinct clinical diagnoses (PTSD; Complex PTSD; BPD), there is a cluster of these comorbid disorders, that follow a continuum of trauma and biological severity on a spectrum of common or similar clinical features and should be treated as such. More studies are needed to confirm or reject this hypothesis, particularly in clinical terms and how they correlate to clinical entities' biological background, endorsing a shift from the phenomenologically only classification of psychiatric disorders towards a more biologically validated classification.

Concepts: Psychological trauma, Mental disorder, Abnormal psychology, Complex post-traumatic stress disorder, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Borderline personality disorder, Mood disorders, Emotional dysregulation