Depression Symptoms' Impact on Personality Disorder Treatment: Depression Symptoms Amplifying the Interpersonal Benefits of Negative-Affect Expression

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While there is some evidence that patients with elevated depression symptoms experience greater benefits from negative-affect expression, this amplifying effect has not been investigated within a psychotherapeutic context. This is particularly notable considering the substantial evidence linking affect expression with desired outcomes across psychotherapeutic approaches. The primary purpose of the present study was to investigate if depression symptoms amplified (i.e., moderated) the association between negative-affect expression and reductions in interpersonal problems for patients in a psychiatric day treatment for personality disorders. The secondary purpose was to investigate milieu (i.e., other patients concurrently enrolled) negative-affect intensity and its association with patients’ reductions in interpersonal problems.


This article was originally published as Cox, D. W., Kealy, D., Kahn, J. H., McCloskey, K. D., Joyce, A. S., Ogrodniczuk, J. S. (2020). Depression symptoms’ impact on personality disorder treatment: Depression symptoms amplifying the interpersonal benefits of negative-affect expression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 272, 318–325.