Past research has linked both emotion regulation and impulsivity with the development and maintenance of addictions. However, no research has investigated the relationship between emotion regulation and impulsivity within young adults. In the present study, we analyzed 194 young adults (27.8% female; 21.3 ± 3.32 years old; 91.8% single; 85.1% Caucasian), grouping them as low, average, or high emotionally dysregulated, and compared self-reported impulsivity, impulsive behaviors (such as alcohol and substance use and gambling) and cognitive impulsivity. We hypothesized that those with high levels of emotion dysregulation would score higher on self-reported and cognitive impulsivity, and report more impulsive behaviors. Analysis indicated that compared to low, the high emotion dysregulation group scored significantly higher on two self-report measures of impulsivity, harm avoidance, and cognitive reasoning. No significant differences were found between groups in impulsive behaviors and cognitive impulsivity. Overall, this study highlights the relationship between emotion dysregulation and impulsivity, suggesting that emotion regulation may be an important factor to consider when assessing individuals at a higher risk for developing an addiction.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Disclosures of interest include that Mr. Odlaug has received honoraria from Oxford University Press. Dr. Grant has received research grants from NIDA, the National Center for Responsible Gaming, Psyadon Pharmaceuticals, and Transcept Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Grant also receives compensation as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Gambling Studies. Ms. Schreiber has no financial interests to report.
This research is supported in part by a Center for Excellence in Gambling Research grant by the Institute for Responsible Gaming and an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse ( 1RC1DA028279-01 ) to Dr. Grant.
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- Emotion regulation
- Young adults