Ruminative processes as a unifying function of dysregulated behaviors: An exploration of the emotional cascades


Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology, Turkey

Approval Date: 2012

Student: EZGİ TUNA

Supervisor: ÖZLEM BOZO ÖZEN

Abstract:

The aim of the present study was to investigate the link between ruminative processes and dysregulated behaviors. Accordingly, the emotional cascade model (Selby et al., 2008; 2009) was tested in a sample of Turkish university students using structural equation modeling. The emotional cascade model posits that the link between emotional and behavioral dysregulation may be through emotional cascades, which are repetitive cycles of rumination and negative affect that result in an increased attention paid to the emotional stimuli and intensification of emotional distress. Dysregulated behaviors, such as non-suicidal self-injury, are used in order to break this cycle and distract the person from ruminative processes. In the first part of the study, a common measure of cognitive emotion regulation, namely The Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (CERQ; Garnefski et al., 2001) was adapted into Turkish and its psychometric properties were investigated. Results suggested that the Turkish version of the CERQ is a reliable and valid meausure of cognitive coping. Next, a structural equation model was tested to assess the relationship between emotional cascades (as indicated by rumination, thought suppression, catastrophizing) and behavioral dysregulation (as indicated by binge eating, non-suicidal self-injury, excessive reassurance-seeking, and drinking to cope). The results showed that the emotional cascades are associated to behavioral dysregulation. This relationship, however, did not remain significant when the effect of current psychological distress on behavioral dysregulation was controlled for. The importance and possible implications of the present study was discussed.