Impulsive responses to emotion as a transdiagnostic vulnerability to internalizing and externalizing symptoms

Sheri L. Johnson, Charles S. Carver, Jutta Joormann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: This study explored the hypothesis that impulsive reactions to heightened emotion may reflect a transdiagnostic vulnerability to both externalizing and internalizing symptoms. Methods: A sample of undergraduates completed self-report measures of aggression, borderline personality disorder symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and alcohol problems, and a subset completed interviews that assessed suicidality. All participants also completed self-report measures relating to impulsivity. We predicted that emotion-reactive impulsivity, but not other aspects of impulsivity, would be related to the set of psychopathology symptoms. Results: Multiple regression analyses found that emotion-reactive impulsivity was uniquely related to each of the psychopathology scales, whereas non-emotion-relevant impulsivity was uniquely related only to alcohol problems. Conclusion: Discussion focuses on limitations and clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)872-878
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of affective disorders
Volume150
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 25 2013

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Alcohol
  • Anxiety
  • Borderline
  • Emotion
  • Impulsivity
  • Problems
  • Transdiagnostic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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