Assessing Context in Emotion Regulation: Validating the Difficulties in Interpersonal Regulation of Emotion (DIRE) Scale and Its Use in Measuring Emotion Regulation Variability
Girma, Fenote Selam
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As research into emotion regulation (ER) expands, it is important to empirically account for contextually relevant aspects of interpersonal emotion regulation (IER). This study aimed to validate the Difficulties in Interpersonal Emotion Regulation (DIRE) scale, a new measure of interpersonal emotion dysregulation and examine its relationship to measures of psychopathology and well-being across three contexts (i.e., task, romantic, social). We also explored the utility of using the scenario-based structure of the DIRE scale to develop an ER variability score that would capture the number of strategies a person accesses between- and within-contexts. A test of the DIRE scale resulted in adequate model fit and validated its factor structure. DIRE scales were associated with emotion dysregulation, depression, and well-being. ER variability scores showed associations with emotion dysregulation and depression. These findings demonstrate the strong validity of the DIRE measure and underscore the importance of including situational contexts in IER research.