Gender-based differential item function for the difficulties in emotion regulation scale

Lisa M. Anderson, Erin E. Reilly, Sasha Gorrell, Katherine Schaumberg, Drew A. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Emotion dysregulation is a mechanism central to the development and maintenance of various psychological disorders. Notably, men and women may differ in their experience of emotion regulation; for instance, women generally report more frequent use of problematic emotion regulation strategies. While considering the possibility that true gender differences in emotion regulation exist, it is also important to ensure that measures assessing the process of emotion regulation are not biased toward one group over the other. The current study examined differential item functioning (DIF) in a commonly used, 36-item measure of emotion dysregulation - the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS). Participants (N= 679, 48.3% women) completed the DERS. Results demonstrated statistically-significant DIF in several of the items; two items met more stringent criteria for clinically-significant DIF. Findings suggest that further evaluation of emotion regulation measures may yield insight regarding the assessment of gender differences for emotion regulation and related constructs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-91
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Differential item functioning
  • Difficulties in emotion regulation scale
  • Emotion regulation
  • Gender


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