Research Article: The assessment of successful emotion regulation skills use: Development and validation of an English version of the Emotion Regulation Skills Questionnaire

Date Published: October 3, 2018

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Michaela Grant, Nicholas L. Salsman, Matthias Berking, Ethan Moitra.


Emotion regulation has become an important topic in mental health and psychotherapy research. Skills supposingly relevant for adaptive responses towards emotions include the abilities to be consciously aware of emotions, identify and correctly label emotions, understand what has caused and maintains one’s present emotions, modify the intensity or duration of one’s emotions, accept and tolerate undesired emotions, confront situations likely to cue negative emotions, and provide effective self-support when working to cope with challenging emotions. To economically assess these abilities, a self-report measure has been developed in German and validated in various studies. To facilitate the use of the measure in English speaking countries, we have developed and validated an English version of the Emotion Regulation Skills Questionnaire (ERSQ) in a student sample (n = 263) and a sample of individual clinical sample (n = 35). Findings from this study provide significant evidence for the reliability and validity of the ERSQ. Thus, the measure can be used to assess a broad range of important emotion regulation skills in an economic way.

Partial Text

Emotion regulation has recently become a focal point in mental health and psychotherapy research [1–3] and has been increasingly incorporated into models of psychopathology [4–7]. Emotion regulation can been defined as ‘‘the extrinsic and intrinsic processes responsible for monitoring, evaluating, and modifying emotional reactions, especially their intensive and temporal features, to accomplish one’s goals” [[8]. p. 27–28]. Deficits in effective emotion regulation are assumed to contribute to the escalation and perpetuation of undesired affective states and hence to the development and maintenance of affective (and affect-related somatic) symptoms of mental disorders. Additionally, it has been hypothesized that behavioral and cognitive symptoms of mental disorders can be conceptualized as dysfunctional attempts to avoid aversive affective states even if this leads to undesired consequences in the long-term [9, 10].

The aim of the current study was to develop and validate an English version of the SEK-27 for both clinical and research purposes. Therefore, the ERSQ (originally in German language) was translated into English language and validated in a student and a clinical sample. Findings indicate that the ERSQ displays adequate to good psychometric properties and can be used as a short, reliable and valid instrument simultaneously assessing a broad range of emotion regulation skills.




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