The role of worry in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) has been posited to serve as an avoidance of emotional experience, and emotion regulation deficits in GAD have been found in several previous studies. It remains unclear whether those with GAD experience more dysregulated emotions during periods of euthymia and positive affect or whether these deficits occur only during periods of worry. Individuals with GAD (with and without co-occurring dysphoria) and non-anxious controls were randomly assigned to receive a worry, neutral, or relaxation induction. Following the induction, all participants viewed a film clip documented to elicit sadness. Intensity of emotions and emotion regulation were examined following the induction period and film clip. The results revealed that, regardless of co-occurring dysphoria, individuals with GAD in the worry condition experienced more intense depressed affect than GAD participants in the other conditions and controls participants. In contrast, presence of worry appeared to have less impact on indices of emotion dysregulation, which were greater in participants with GAD compared to controls, but largely insensitive to contextual effects of worry or of relaxation. Following film viewing, both GAD participants with and without dysphoria displayed poorer understanding, acceptance, and management of emotions than did controls. However, acceptance and management deficits were most pronounced in individuals with both GAD and co-occurring dysphoria. Implications for the role of emotions in conceptualization and treatment of GAD are discussed.
The effects of worry and rumination on affective states and mentation type were examined in an unselected undergraduate sample in Study 1 and in a sample of individuals with high trait worry and rumination, high rumination, and low worry/rumination in Study 2. Participants engaged in worry and rumination inductions, counterbalanced in order across participants to assess main and interactive effects of these types of negative thinking. During mentation periods, the thought vs. imaginal nature and the temporal orientation of mentations were assessed 5 times. Following mentation periods, negative and positive affect, relaxation, anxiety, and depression were assessed. Both worry and rumination produced increases in negative affect and decreases in positive affect. Worry tended to generate greater anxiety, and rumination tended to generate greater depression. Interactive effects were also found indicating that worry may lessen the anxiety experienced during subsequent rumination. Moreover, worry lessened the depressing effects of rumination. Worry was associated with significantly greater thought than imagery, compared to rumination. Rumination involved a progression from mentation about the past to mentation about the future over time. Implications for understanding the generation of negative affect and comorbid anxiety and depression are discussed.
The prevalence of most adult psychiatric disorders varies across racial/ethnic groups and has important implications for prevention and intervention efforts. Research on racial/ethnic differences in the prevalence of internalizing and externalizing symptoms and disorders in adolescents has been less consistent or generally lacking. The current study examined the prevalence of these symptom groups in a large sample of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders in which the three major racial/ethnic groups in the U.S. (White, Black, and Hispanic/Latino) were well-represented. Hispanic females reported experiencing higher levels of depression, anxiety, and reputational aggression than other groups. Black males reported the highest levels of overtly aggressive behavior and also reported higher levels of physiologic anxiety and disordered eating than males from other racial/ethnic groups. Hispanic females also exhibited higher levels of comorbidity than other racial/ethnic groups.