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Impulsive Behaviors as an Emotion Regulation Strategy: Examining Associations between PTSD, Emotion Dysregulation, and Impulsive Behaviors among Substance Dependent Inpatients

By Nicole H. Weiss, Matthew T. Tull, Andres G. Viana, Michael D. Anestis and Kim L. Gratz

Abstract

Recent investigations have demonstrated that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with a range of impulsive behaviors (e.g., risky sexual behavior and antisocial behavior). The purpose of the present study was to extend extant research by exploring whether emotion dysregulation explains the association between PTSD and impulsive behaviors. Participants were an ethnically diverse sample of 206 substance use disorder (SUD) patients in residential substance abuse treatment. Results demonstrated an association between PTSD and impulsive behaviors, with SUD patients with PTSD reporting significantly more impulsive behaviors than SUD patients without PTSD (in general and when controlling for relevant covariates). Further, emotion dysregulation was found to fully mediate the relationship between PTSD and impulsive behaviors. Results highlight the relevance of emotion dysregulation to impulsive behaviors and suggest that treatments targeting emotion dysregulation may be useful in reducing impulsive behaviors among SUD patients with PTSD

Topics: Posttraumatic stress disorder, Emotion regulation, Impulsivity, Impulsive behaviors, Risky behavior, Risk-taking, Substance use disorders
Publisher: 'Elsevier BV'
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2012.01.007
OAI identifier: oai:uh-ir.tdl.org:10657/2984
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