Positive affect regulation in anxiety disorders

Lori R. Eisner, Sheri L. Johnson, Charles S. Carver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


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 PA and the ability to savor PA 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-649
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Affect regulation
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Dampening
  • Positive affect
  • Savoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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