Charles S. Carver

Johnson, S. L., Tharp, J. A., Peckham, A. D., Carver, C. S., & Haase, C. M. (2017). A path model of different forms of impulsivity with externalizing and internalizing psychopathology: Toward greater specificity. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 56, 235-252.

Objectives: A growing empirical literature indicates that emotion-related impulsivity (compared to impulsivity that is unrelated to emotion) is particularly relevant for understanding a broad range of psychopathologies. Recent work, however, has differentiated two forms of emotion-related impulsivity: A factor termed Pervasive Influence of Feelings captures tendencies for emotions (mostly negative emotions) to quickly shape thoughts. A factor termed Feelings Trigger Action captures tendencies for positive and negative emotions to quickly and reflexively shape behavior and speech. The current study used path modeling to consider links from emotion-related and non-emotion-related impulsivity to a broad range of psychopathologies.

Design and Methods: Undergraduates completed self-report measures of impulsivity, depression, anxiety, aggression, and substance use symptoms.

Results: A path model (N = 261) indicated specificity of these forms of impulsivity. Pervasive Influence of Feelings was related to anxiety and depression, whereas Feelings Trigger Action and non-emotion-related impulsivity were related to aggression and substance use.

Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that emotion-relevant impulsivity could be a potentially important treatment target for a set of psychopathologies.

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