Maladaptive regulation of positive emotion has increasingly been associated with psychopathology. Little is known, however, about how individual strategies used to manage positive emotion predict concurrent emotional responding and prospective illness course across mood disorders. The present study examined the concurrent and prospective influence of amplification and dampening regulation strategies of positive emotion (i.e., self-focused positive rumination, emotion-focused positive rumination, and dampening) among remitted individuals with bipolar I disorder (BD; n=31) and major depressive disorder (MDD; n=31). Rumination over positive emotional states concurrently predicted increased positive emotion across both mood disordered groups during an experimental rumination induction. However, dampening positive emotion concurrently predicted increased emotional reactivity (i.e., heart rate and negative affect) and prospective increases in manic and depressive symptoms for the BD group only. This suggests that amplifying positive emotion transdiagnostically increases positive emotion across mood disordered groups, while attempts to dampen positive emotion may paradoxically exacerbate emotional reactivity and illness course in BD. For individuals with BD, negative thinking about one's positive emotion (via dampening) may be particularly maladaptive.
- Bipolar disorder
- Positive emotion regulation