Maladaptive emotion regulation strategies and stress sensitivity mediate the relation between adverse life events and attenuated psychotic symptoms

Research Area: Research Year: 2015
Type of Publication: Article Keywords: Hallucination ; Delusion ; Emotion regulation ; Adverse life event
Authors: Laloyaux, Julien; Dessart, Gregory; der Linden, Martial Van; Lemaire, Morgan; Larøi, Frank
Abstract:
Introduction There is now solid evidence for a relation between Adverse Life Events (ALE) and psychotic symptoms in both patients with psychosis and in the general population. A recent study has shown that this relation may be partially mediated by stress sensitivity. However, other factors that may mediate this relation, such as emotion regulation strategies, have not yet been examined in the literature. Objective The aim of this study was to assess the mediation effect of both emotion regulation strategies and stress sensitivity in the relation between ALE and attenuated positive psychotic symptoms in the general population. Results Results demonstrated that the relation between ALE and attenuated positive psychotic symptoms (i.e. hallucinations and delusions) was mediated by maladaptive emotion regulations strategies. Discussion Although it is most likely that there are several possible trajectories leading to the formation of positive psychotic symptoms, the results of the present study suggest that one such trajectory may involve the maladaptive regulation of negative emotions alongside a certain vulnerability after experiencing highly distressing ALE. Hence, interventions aiming to enhance adaptive emotion regulation strategies and diminish the utilization of maladaptive strategies should be regarded as an integral part of psychological treatment schemes in the context of psychotic symptoms. Conclusion In summary, the present study demonstrated that the relation between ALE and attenuated positive psychotic symptoms is mediated by maladaptive emotion regulation strategies