How Do I Want to Feel? The Link between Emotion Goals and Difficulties in Emotion Regulation in Borderline Personality Disorder

Lopez-Perez, B. and McCagh, Jane (2019) How Do I Want to Feel? The Link between Emotion Goals and Difficulties in Emotion Regulation in Borderline Personality Disorder. British Journal of Clinical Psychology. ISSN 0144-6657 (Accepted for Publication)

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Abstract

Objectives: appropriate contextualized emotion goals (i.e., desired emotional end-points that facilitate goal attainment) are fundamental to emotion regulation, as they may determine the direction of regulation efforts. Given that difficulties in emotion regulation is prevalent in borderline personality disorder (BPD), we explored if BPD traits (Study 1) and BPD diagnosis (Study 2) presented specific contextualized emotion goals, and whether these emotion goals may be linked to difficulties in emotion regulation. Methods: In Study 1, 358 individuals were recruited via Amazon Mechanical Turk and assessed on the presence of borderline traits, emotion regulation ability, general and contextualized emotional goals. In Study 2, these measures were employed in a sample of 35 people with BPD and 35 matched controls who were also assessed on their current mood state and screened for Axis I and II disorders of the DSM-IV. Results: Study 1 showed that emotion dysregulation was positively predicted by borderline traits and contextualized emotion goals that impair goal attainment (i.e., greater preference for anger for collaboration and happiness for confrontation). Findings of Study 2 also showed that a higher preference for happiness for confrontation was linked to higher emotion dysregulation in both individuals with BPD and controls. Furthermore, individuals with BPD reported a lower preference for happiness for collaboration than controls. Conclusions: these results support the importance of looking at emotion goals and its link with emotion dysregulation. Interventions targeting maladaptive contextualized goals may represent an important therapeutic window to enhance emotion regulation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is a peer reviewed, author's manuscript of an article that has been accepted for publication in the British Journal of Clinical Psychology. The final, published version will be available from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/20448260
Keywords: borderline personality; emotion goals; emotion regulation; happiness; anger.
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Belen Lopez-Perez
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2019 10:38
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2019 10:38
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2930

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