• emotion regulation;
  • cognition;
  • cognitive emotion regulation, bipolar disorder;
  • unaffected relatives

Green MJ, Lino BJ, Hwang E-J, Sparks A, James C, Mitchell PB. Cognitive regulation of emotion in bipolar I disorder and unaffected biological relatives.

Objective:  We examined the use of particular cognitive strategies for regulating negative emotion in relation to mood and temperament in BD-I, unaffected relatives of bipolar patients (UR), and healthy controls (HC).

Method:  Participants were 105 patients with BD-I, 124 UR, and 63 HC; all participants completed the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (CERQ), the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS), and the Hypomanic Personality Scale (HPS).

Results:  The BD-I group reported more frequent use of rumination, catastrophizing and self-blame, and less frequent use of putting into perspective, in response to negative life events, relative to the UR and HC groups. In BD-I, more frequent use of rumination was associated with increased DASS and HPS scores. By contrast, within the UR group, more frequent use of catastrophizing and self-blame were associated with increased DASS and HPS scores. In all participants, less frequent use of adaptive cognitive reframing strategies (e.g. putting into perspective) were associated with increased DASS scores.

Conclusion:  Both BD-I and UR groups reported more frequent use of maladaptive regulatory strategies previously associated with depression. Emotion regulation strategies of catastrophizing, self-blame, and cognitive reframing techniques may be associated with vulnerability for mood disorders, with the latter active within the general population regardless of biological vulnerability to disorder.