Cognitive processes and emotion regulation in depression

Jutta Joormann, Meghan E. Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Sustained negative affect and diminished positive affect are hallmark features of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Difficulties in emotion regulation have been proposed to be at the core of these cardinal symptoms of MDD. It remains unclear, however, what underlies emotion regulation difficulties. Cognitive theories of depression have focused on cognitive processes and recent studies suggest that cognitive biases and deficits in cognitive control may help explain affective symptoms of this disorder. Specifically, it is proposed that cognitive biases and deficits affect emotion regulation ability thereby setting the stage for maintained negative affect and diminished levels of positive affect. The article reviews empirical studies that speak to these links and closes with a discussion of novel treatment approaches that are inspired by these ideas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-315
Number of pages8
JournalDepression and anxiety
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • Coping
  • Depression
  • Mood disorders
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Medicine(all)


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