Differential Patterns of Association Between the Behavioral Approach System and an Emotion Regulation Task in Patients Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Healthy Controls Open Access

Cowperthwait, Colleen (2015)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/kk91fm13v?locale=en


Individuals with bipolar disorder display both emotion regulation (ER) deficits and Behavioral Approach System (BAS) hypersensitivity. We examined associations between ER and the BAS among bipolar and control individuals. We compared 11 bipolar and 11 demographically matched control individuals using self-report BAS sensitivity and ER measures and reaction time (RT) and accuracy on the Affective Stroop Task, which examines the impact of emotional stimuli goal-directed processing while completing a numerical Stroop task. Between-group analyses indicated that bipolar subjects have ER difficulties not attributable to manic or depressive symptoms. Between-group analyses indicated that bipolar and control subjects did not differ significantly on RT or accuracy of performance on the Affective Stroop Task. However, bipolar participants, but not control participants, were significantly slower to respond to incongruent trials than congruent trials, regardless of emotion. Regression analyses indicated that, among bipolar participants but not control participants, self-reported ER difficulties and BAS sensitivity differentially predicted RTs. Results suggest a differential pattern of association between the BAS and the ER system among bipolar and healthy individuals.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Emotion Regulation 2

The Behavioral Approach System 5

Aims and Hypotheses of Current Study 6

Method 7

Participants 7

Measures 8

Analyses 14

Results 15

Correlations between self-report measures and mood symptoms 15

Group comparison on effects of task and emotion on mean reaction times and accuracy 16

Group comparison on BIS/BAS, SPSRQ, DERS scores 18

Emotion regulation difficulties, BAS sensitivity, and performance on the Affective Stroop Task 19

Discussion 21

Study strengths and limitations 26

Conclusion 27

References 28

Tables 36

Figures 41

About this Master's Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
  • English
Research Field
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files