Emotion regulation and generalized anxiety disorder
Misegadis, Tina B.
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Individuals meeting criteria for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) by self-report were compared to a control group with regard to emotion regulation strategy preference. Participants viewed pictures designed to provoke either high or low intensity negative emotions and selected either distraction or cognitive reappraisal as a coping strategy. Consistent with previous research, participants were expected to use more reappraisal in response to low-intensity stimuli and more distraction in response to high-intensity stimuli. GAD participants were expected to use more distraction than controls. However, contrary to predictions, no difference in emotion regulation strategy choice was observed between GAD participants and controls in response to low intensity stimuli. A trend was observed such that individuals with GAD used more distraction to cope with high intensity stimuli relative to the control group.