Bivariate correlations among symptom indices are shown in . As one would expect, symptom indices were positively correlated. The correlations between symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder with other anxiety disorders and depression were particularly robust. The social phobia scale also had robust correlations with the OCD and agoraphobia scales. As expected, the panic disorder and agoraphobia scales were substantially correlated with one another.
Correlations among symptom measures.
Correlations among the subscales of the PRS revealed a significant correlation between the Emotion-focus and Self-focus subscales, r (219) = .67, P < .001. The Dampening subscale showed no association with either the Emotion-focus or Self-focus subscale [r (219) = .10 and .12]. Savoring was positively associated with the Emotion-focus subscale [r (214) = .25, P < .001] and inversely related to the Dampening subscale of the PRS [r (214) =−.37, P < .001] but was not significantly related to the Self-focus scale [r (214) = .12, P = .07].
Measures of PA regulation were then correlated with symptom indices (IDD-L and anxiety subscales of the PDSQ). As shown in , Emotion-focused positive rumination was not related to symptoms of anxiety or depression. Small positive associations emerged between Self-focused positive rumination and agoraphobia and panic disorder. Dampening correlated positively with symptoms of social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorder, and to a smaller degree with agoraphobia, OCD, and IDD-L. Savoring correlated negatively with symptoms of depression and all anxiety disorders.
Correlations and partial correlations of positive rumination, dampening, and savoring with depression and anxiety symptoms.
In order to be sure that the associations for anxiety disorders did not depend on associations of anxiety with depression, analyses were then conducted testing whether symptoms of anxiety disorders remained related to PA regulation after controlling for history of depressive symptoms (, right side). All correlations noted above remained significant and of similar magnitude, with the exception of that between dampening and agoraphobia, which became nonsignificant.
Structural equation modeling was used to determine whether measures of affect regulation made separate contributions to predicting symptoms of anxiety disorders (). Dampening had a significant direct effect on the generalized anxiety disorder (γ= .18, z = 2.69), social phobia (γ = .21, z = 2.95), and panic disorder (γ = .21, z = 3.00) subscales, controlling for savoring and depression. Controlling for dampening and depression, savoring had a significant negative direct effect on social phobia (γ =−.23, z = −3.26) and OCD (γ = −.26, z = −3.46) subscales.
Structural equation model examining the effects of dampening and savoring on GAD, panic disorder, social phobia, agoraphobia and OCD controlling for symptoms of depression.
To assess the extent to which associations with the generalized anxiety disorder subscale accounted for associations with other anxiety disorders, symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder were entered into the model as an additional control. That is, we tested the links between anxiety symptoms and affect regulation measures, controlling for symptoms of depression and generalized anxiety (). Dampening remained a significant predictor of social phobia (γ = .13, z
= 1.97) and panic disorder (γ = .14, z
= 2.11) subscales, controlling for savoring, depression, and symptoms of generalized anxiety. Controlling for dampening, depression, and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, savoring had a significant negative direct effect on social phobia (γ =−.18, z
= −2.71) and OCD (γ = −.21, z
= −2.96) subscales.1
Structural equation model examining the effects of dampening and savoring on panic disorder, social phobia, agoraphobia and OCD controlling for symptoms of depression and GAD.