Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Association of meta-cognitive reactions to negative emotions to anxiety and depressive pathology
by Clen, Shauna L., Ph.D., Kent State University, 2013, 109; 3618950
Abstract (Summary)

Meta-cognitive reactions to emotions involve the manner in which individuals cognitively appraise and emotionally respond to the provocation of their feelings (e.g., viewing sadness as weakness, becoming embarrassed that one is sad). The manner in which an individual meta-cognitively responds to his or her emotions may be an important consideration in disorders characterized by emotional pathology, such as mood and anxiety disorders. Previous research has linked negative beliefs regarding emotions and discomfort with one's feelings to anxiety and depressive pathology. The current study examined meta-cognitive reactions to sadness, anger, and anxiety, as assessed by self-report and structured interview, in relation to self-reported symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in college students. Study findings indicated that individuals with higher levels of symptoms of psychopathology (i.e., individuals in the MDD and GAD analogue groups) were less comfortable with their negative emotions, viewed their negative emotions as more problematic, were more fearful of the provocation of their negative emotions, and viewed themselves as less able to effectively cope with their negative emotions, as compared to relatively healthy individuals. Additionally, an exploratory analysis found a trend for individuals in the GAD analogue group to be more fearful of anxiety than individuals in the MDD analogue group. Finally, fear of negative emotions was found to moderate the relationship between worry and GAD symptoms, as well as the relationship between brooding and MDD symptoms, such that higher levels of fear of negative emotions strengthened these relationships. The manner in which individuals cognitively appraise and emotionally respond to their feelings is a relatively understudied area of research that has meaningful implications for the understanding and treatment of MDD and GAD. Further research is needed to elucidate distinctive emotional processes in MDD and GAD, including meta-cognitive reactions to emotions, in order to refine our understanding of the nature of these two disorders and inform cognitive-behavioral interventions that can specifically target important areas of emotional dysfunction and distress.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fresco, David
School: Kent State University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 75/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Personality psychology, Cognitive psychology, Health care management
Keywords: Acceptance, Anxiety, Depression, Emotion, Meta-cognitive reaction, Negative beliefs
Publication Number: 3618950
ISBN: 978-1-303-87507-6
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