Overcoming difficulties in measuring emotional regulation: Assessing and comparing the psychometric properties of the DERS long and short forms

Taylor and Francis Group
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Cogent Psychology, 2022, 9, (1), pp. 1-17
Issue Date:
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Difficulties with emotion regulation have been found to be implicated in the development and maintenance of depression and symptoms of low mood, as well as various other significant psychological conditions including mood disorders, anxiety disorders and personality disorders. Thus, it is important to have valid and reliable measures of difficulties with emotional regulation that are easy to administer and interpret. There are presently four available measures for this construct: the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), and the three short-form versions, the DERS-16, the DERS-18 and the DERS-SF. There remains inconsistency in the literature about which short-form version of the DERS is best. The present study aimed to extend the literature by examining and comparing the psychometric properties and clinical utility of the well-known self-report measure the DERS, and the three short-form versions, the DERS-16, the DERS-18 and the DERS-SF, in a large convenience sample. A sample of 1049 first-year university students completed an online test battery of self-report questionnaires and a series of questions regarding demographic information. The DERS and the three short-form versions demonstrated good construct validity, good internal consistency, and good discriminative ability. The mean scores and standard deviations of the DERS subscales and DERS short-forms organized by depressive symptom severity are presented. Overall, this paper provides new evidence of the validity and clinical utility of the four versions of the DERS.
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