Eisner, L. R., Johnson, S. L., & Carver, C. S. (2009). Positive affect regulation in anxiety disorders. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 23, 645-649.

Although individual differences exist in how people respond to positive affect (PA), little research addresses PA regulation in people with anxiety disorders. The goal of this study was to provide information about responses to PA in people with symptoms of social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The tendency to dampen positive affect and the ability to savor positive affect were examined in an undergraduate sample. Analyses examined the unique links between these reactions and symptoms of anxiety disorders, controlling for a history of depression. Given the high comorbidity of depression and anxiety, exploratory analyses further controlled for generalized anxiety disorder. Results demonstrated that one or both measures of affect regulation made a unique and substantial contribution to predicting each anxiety disorder except agoraphobia, above and beyond prediction afforded by symptoms of depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Clinical implications and areas for future research are discussed.

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University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology