The Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale: Factor Structure in Chronic Pain Patients


  • Gyöngyi Kökönyei and Zsolt Demetrovics acknowledge financial support of the János Bolyai Research Fellowship awarded by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. This work was supported by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (grant no. 83884).



Research suggests that emotions and emotion regulation processes can influence both the sensory (e.g., intensity) and the affective (unpleasantness) components of pain. The purpose of this study was to investigate the factor structure and validity of the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS; Gratz and Roemer, 2004) in medical sample with persistent pain.


Data were collected from 207 chronic pain patients (82.6% female; mean age = 51.96). We applied confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to test measurement model of emotion dysregulation and CFA with covariates to test construct and convergent validity of the DERS.


The original factor structure of the DERS was not supported in our medical sample. However, after some modifications the DERS yielded good fit. Validity of the DERS was confirmed. All the subscales had significant relationship with depression measure, and all the subscales except one correlated with Difficulties in Identifying Feelings component of alexithymia.


The DERS proved to be an adequate measure of clinically relevant dimensions of emotional dysregulation in chronic pain patients.