Poor emotion regulation as risk factor in the development of mood disorders: a rapid review
The aim of this study was to review and provide a synthesis of available research on poor emotion regulation as a risk factor in developing a mood disorder. Furthermore, the study aimed to contribute to the current body of literature pertaining to emotion regulation and mood disorders by attempting to answer the following questions: (1) to what extent is poor emotion regulation a risk factor in the development of mood disorders? and (2) exactly how does poor emotion regulation contribute to the risk of developing mood disorders? In order to answer the two research questions above, a rapid review was used to collate data. Keywords were identified from the vast and encompassing research available within the EBSCO Discovery services (EDS) search engine to identify possible studies for this review. Initially, 302 studies were identified, but after applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria, as well as the critical appraisal that was informed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE, 2012), the Quality Criteria Checklists (QCC) (American Dietetic Association [ADA], 2008), and the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI QARI) (2017), only 18 studies were selected for the final sample. The data were then analysed using thematic synthesis. The core findings of the study suggest that poor emotion regulation can serve as a risk factor for developing a mood disorder. More specifically, certain maladaptive emotion regulation strategies were identified as exacerbating this risk. These strategies include rumination, brooding, suppression, blame, catastrophising and avoidance. Surprisingly, certain adaptive emotion regulation strategies, such as acceptance, appraisal and reflection, could also increase the risk for a mood disorder under certain conditions. The available research did not, however, offer a conclusive finding on the extent to which poor emotion regulation plays a risk. Rather, a complex array of processes plays a role here. Findings from the review studies suggest that context, gender, culture, and current stressors may play a mediating role – none of these, however, produced strong or consistent results. For a full understanding of the causal relationship between poor emotion regulation and mood disorders, it is recommended that more experimental and longitudinal studies are done to fully examine their cause-effect relationship. In addition, meta-analyses should be done to synthesize the findings of these studies before any final conclusions should be made.
- Health Sciences