Date of Graduation

5-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Psychological Science

Advisor

Jennifer C. Veilleux

Committee Member

Ivan Vargas

Second Committee Member

Denise R. Beike

Keywords

borderline personality disorder, emotion invalidation, mental illness, personality psychology, self-stigma

Abstract

Self-stigma involves internalized negative evaluation in people with a societally prescribed label (i.e., mental health diagnosis). Thus, measures of self-stigma due to mental illness exclude people without a diagnosis who may negatively evaluate themselves because of their emotions— a process we define as self-invalidation due to emotion. In the current research, I introduced a definition of self-invalidation due to emotion as distinct from self-stigma due to mental illness and emotion invalidation from others. After expert review of the item pool (Study 1), and exploratory (Study 2) and confirmatory factor analysis (Study 3), a 10-item scale for Self-Invalidation Due to Emotion (SIDES) was developed, with subscales of self-invalidation due to high and low emotional experience. A longitudinal study (Study 4) of a college student and community sample replicated and expanded on Study 2 findings, with greater self-invalidation due to high emotional experience predicting greater emotion dysregulation, emotional reactivity and expressivity, and beliefs about emotion uncontrollability. In contrast, greater self-invalidation due to low emotional experience predicted less emotional reactivity and expressivity, and greater beliefs about emotion controllability (Study 4). Finally, in a community sample of people with a history of mental illness (Study 5), greater self-invalidation due to high but not low emotional experience predicted symptoms of borderline personality pathology and distress regardless of self-stigma due to mental illness or perceived emotion invalidation (Study 5). The current research supports the SIDES as a psychometrically sound, more inclusive measure of self-stigma, relevant for predicting distress and maladaptive emotional tendencies in people with and without a mental illness.

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