Emotion Regulation Deficits in Adolescent Girls with Major Depression, Anorexia Nervosa and Comorbid Major Depression and Anorexia Nervosa

Child psychiatry and human development(2022)

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In adolescence, both major depression (MD) and anorexia nervosa (AN) are associated with deficits in emotion regulation (ER). However, studies have yet to compare ER profiles within the disorders and the effect of comorbid MD+AN is unclear. This study examined the habitual use of ER in 229 girls, aged 12–18 years, with MD (n = 84), AN (n = 37), comorbid MD+AN (n = 25), and healthy girls (n = 83). Girls with MD, AN and MD+AN reported more maladaptive and less adaptive ER strategies than healthy girls. MD and MD+AN groups showed more frequent use of maladaptive ER compared to only AN, with no differences between only MD and MD+AN. This suggests that MD+AN is not necessarily associated with higher ER deficits, rather, an additional diagnosis of MD exacerbates impairments in AN. Identifying specific ER profiles can provide important targets in prevention and treatment for AN, MD and AN+MD.
Major depression,Anorexia nervosa,Emotion regulation,Comorbidity,Adolescence
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