Emotion regulation predicts symptoms of depression over five years

Berking M, Wirtz CM, Svaldi J, Hofmann S (2014)

Publication Language: English

Publication Status: Published

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2014


Publisher: Elsevier

Book Volume: 57

Pages Range: 13-20

DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2014.03.003


Deficits in emotion regulation have been identified as an important risk and maintaining factor for depression. The aim of this study was to examine the long-term effects of emotion regulation on symptoms of depression. Moreover, we investigated which specific emotion regulation skills were associated with subsequent symptoms of depression. Participants were 116 individuals (78% women, average age 35.2 years) who registered for an online-based assessment of depression and its risk-factors and reported at least some symptoms of depression. Successful application of emotion regulation skills and depressive symptom severity were assessed twice over a 5-year period. We utilized cross-lagged panel analyses to assess whether successful skills application would be negatively associated with subsequent depressive symptom severity. Cross-lagged panel analyses identified successful skills application as a significant predictor for depressive symptom severity even when controlling for the effects of initial symptoms of depression. A comparison of the effect sizes for different emotion regulation skills on subsequent depressive symptoms suggests that most of the skills included have similar predictive value. These findings provide preliminary evidence for the hypotheses that deficits in emotion regulation may contribute to the development of depression and that interventions systematically enhancing adaptive emotion regulation skills may help prevent and treat depressive symptoms. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Authors with CRIS profile

Involved external institutions

How to cite


Berking, M., Wirtz, C.M., Svaldi, J., & Hofmann, S. (2014). Emotion regulation predicts symptoms of depression over five years. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 57, 13-20. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2014.03.003


Berking, Matthias, et al. "Emotion regulation predicts symptoms of depression over five years." Behaviour Research and Therapy 57 (2014): 13-20.

BibTeX: Download