Scholarly article on topic 'Cognitive emotion regulation questionnaire: Validity and reliability of Persian translation of CERQ-36 item'

Cognitive emotion regulation questionnaire: Validity and reliability of Persian translation of CERQ-36 item Academic research paper on "Psychology"

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Abstract of research paper on Psychology, author of scientific article — Salman Abdi, Shahin Taban, Aisun Ghaemian

Abstract This study aims at investigating a Persian translation of the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire-36 item (CERQ; Garnefski, Kraaij, & Spinhoven, 2001). The distinction of nine different conceptual scales (Self-blame, Other-blame, Rumination, Catastrophizing, Positive refocusing, Planning, Positive reappraisal, Putting into perspective and Acceptance) was left intact. Cronbach's alfa subscale ranges were from 0.64 to 0.82. The students who had low score in mindfulness in comparison with the students with high levels of mindfulness reported low and high scores in adjusted and unadjusted cognitive emotion regulation strategies, respectively.

Academic research paper on topic "Cognitive emotion regulation questionnaire: Validity and reliability of Persian translation of CERQ-36 item"

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Social and Behavioral Sciences

Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 32 (2012) 2 - 7

4th International Conference of Cognitive Science (ICCS 2011)

Cognitive emotion regulation questionnaire: Validity and reliability of the Persian translation of the CERQ (36-item)

Salman Abdia,*5 Shahin Tabanb, Aisun Ghaemianc

aFaculty of Psychology, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran bFaculty of Humanities, Azad University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran CFaculty of Psychology, Brunei University, London, UK

Abstract

This study aims at investigating a Persian translation of the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire-36 item (CERQ; Garnefski, Kraaij, & Spinhoven, 2001). The distinction of nine different conceptual scales (Self-blame, Other-blame, Rumination, Catastrophizing, Positive refocusing, Planning, Positive reappraisal, Putting into perspective and Acceptance) was left intact. Cronbach's alfa subscale ranges were from 0.64 to 0.82. The students who had low score in mindfulness in comparison with the students with high levels of mindfulness reported low and high scores in adjusted and unadjusted cognitive emotion regulation strategies, respectively.

© 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of the 4th International Conference of Cognitive Science

Keywords: Validity; reliability; cognitive emotion regulation questionnaire; CERQ; Persian translation

1. Introduction

Emotion regulation involves a vast area of conscious and unconscious physiological and behavioral cognitive aspects (Gross, 2001). Emotion regulation is studied from two viewpoints: 1- Emotion regulation strategies which are activated before or at the beginning of the event's occurrence. 2- Emotion regulation strategies activated after the event's occurrence or after formation of the emotion. Emotion regulation strategies which are activated before occurrence of the event have a significant role in controlling negative emotions, because they lead to interpreting the event in a way that negative emotional responses are decreased (Gross, 1998). This strategy regulates emotions in three aspects: cognitive, behavioral intervention and a combination of the two (Parkinson & Totteredl, 1999). Cognitive emotion regulation strategies are cognitive responses to emotion-eliciting events that consciously or unconsciously attempt to modify the magnitude and/or type of individuals' emotional experience or the event itself (Gross, 2001; Aldao & Nolen-Hoeksema, 2010; Abdi, Babapour, & Fathi, 2011). Research has shown that a particularly powerful category of emotion regulation involves the cognitive way of handling the intake of emotionally arousing information (Ochsner & Gross, 2005).

* Corresponding author: Tel: +98-9352485191; Fax: +98-411-3368488 E-mail address: abdi.salman@gmail.com

1877-0428 © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of the 4th International Conference of Cognitive Science doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.01.001

Cognitive emotion regulation may socially and individually affect behavior because of its wide function in regulating the cognition. As seen in the study, regulating the cognitive emotion along with mindfulness is regarded as one of the most important variables in social cognitive especially in understanding other emotions and perspective taking (Abdi, 2007). Additionally, researches conducted among normal individuals demonstrate that cognitive emotion regulation predicts the general health of the participants (Abdi et al., 2011). On the other hand, different researches refer to the relationships between dispositions in order to use certain cognitive emotion regulating strategies and a variety of mood and anxiety disorders (Nolen-Hoeksema, Wisco, & Lyubomirsky, 2008; Feldman, Joormann, & Johnson, 2008; Mennin, Holoway, Fresco, Moore, & Heimberg, 2007; Eisner, Johnson, & Carver, 2009).

The growing evolution of cognitive psychology and the need to utilize instruments to quantize cognitive concepts may be useful in developing this area of psychology. However, lack of the instruments required for evaluating a broad set of specific cognitive emotion regulating strategies led to development of Cognitive Emotion Regulating Questionnaire (CERQ) in 1999 (CERQ; Garnefski et al, 2001). CERQ is made of 36 items used to evaluate nine cognitive strategies after experiencing a threatening or stressful life event. Four items are used to evaluate each of the cognitive emotion regulating strategy. Therefore, out of the nine strategies, five strategies are used to evaluate adjusted cognitive emotion regulating strategies (Acceptance, Positive reappraisal, Planning, Putting into perspective, and Positive refocusing) and the remaining four to evaluate unadjusted cognitive emotion regulating strategies (Self-blame, Rumination, Catastrophising, and Blaming others) (Garnefski, Baan, & Kraaij, 2005). Although a shorter version of the questionnaire (CERQ-18) with 18 items has been introduced, psychometric properties of the main and initial scale of CERQ-36 have not been studied in Iran. Therefore, there have recently been many requests in Iran for the psychometric properties of CERQ. Considering the fact that CERQ is a useful instrument for screening people with cognitive emotion regulation problems, there have recently been numerous calls in Iran, which stress the need for research in this area. The present study is the first conducted on psychometric properties of CERQ in Iran and aims at determining the validity and reliability of the Persian translation of CERQ-36. Also, this study is the first research which compares the cognitive emotion regulation strategies of people with low and high mindfulness attention awareness. The results of the study will be used in different Iranian researches.

2. Method

The present study is a descriptive cross-sectional one. The cluster random sampling was done among the B.A students of Tabriz University (North West of Iran) in 2010.

2.1. Subjects and inclusion criteria

The Persian translation of the CERQ was administered to 503 students of university of Tabriz. There were 235 male (46.7%) and 268 female (53.3%). Ages of the students ranged from 18 to 30 years (Mean = 21.53, SD = 2.41).

Bing interested in subject of the study, an official B.A student of university of Tabriz, not being a member of welfare organization with having severe/more severed disability are regarded as inclusion of the study.

2.2. Measures

2.2.1. Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (CERQ)

The CERQ (Garnefski et al., 2001) is a 36-item scale that evaluates the cognitive aspects of emotion regulation. The CERQ is a multidimensional questionnaire constructed in order to measure someone's general cognitive style as well as their cognitive strategy after experiencing a specific event. Separate versions as well as a short 18-item version have been developed for adults, adolescents and children. The CERQ can be administered in normal and clinical populations, with different age groups. The items are rated on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (almost never) to 5 (almost always). Individual subscale scores are obtained by summing up the scores belonging to particular subscale or cognitive emotion regulation strategy (from 4 to 20). Higher scores reflect greater use of the strategy.

The Persian translation of the CERQ was developed with a back-translation procedure. Two bilingual (Persian-English) psychologists translated the English version of the CERQ into Persian. Another (Persian-English) bilingual

psychologist then translated the translated questionnaire back into English. Discrepancies emerging from this backtranslation were discussed and adjustments to the Persian translation of the CERQ were made.

2.2.2. Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS)

The Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) (Brown & Ryan, 2003) is a 15-item scale that measures everyday mindfulness; items are rated on a 6-point Likert scale from one (almost always) to six (almost never). The mean rating is computed across all items. Higher scores reflect greater mindfulness. The construct validity of Persian translation of the MAAS on university student has been approved through factor analytical method and its reliability has been reported to be 0.76 (Abdi, Babapour, & Saderi Oskouei, 2009).

2.2.3. Procedure

All participants were tested individually. The questionnaires were completed anonymously. After the research, each subject was given a gift (a pen) as a token of gratitude.

2.3. Data analysis

All data were analyzed by SPSS software (version 17). Explanatory factor analysis was used to analyze the construct validity of CERQ. Cronbach's alpha coefficient was used to determine the internal reliability of CERQ. Independent t-test was applied to compare the mean of cognitive emotion regulation strategies between men and women and, also, between people with high and low MAAS. Power values less than 0.05 were considered significant.

3. Results

The outcome resulted from the explanatory factor analysis by principal component analysis and varimax rotation showed KMO = 0.84, Bartlett's test = 7775.41, df = 630,p < 0.001. Based on the results of KMO and Bartlett's test, Factor analysis can be used. The first 10 eigenvalues of the principal component analysis were 7.04, 4.33, 2.82, 2.26, 1.68, 1.58, 1.39, 1.27, 1.06, and 0.89. The first nine eigenvalues were greater than one. The sums of the squared loadings (% of variance) were 8.54 (Refocus on planning), 7.98 (Positive refocusing), 7.65 (Putting into perspective), 7.72 (Positive reappraisal), 7.63 (Other blame), 6.96 (Rumination), 6.29 (Catastrophizing), 6.28 (Acceptance), 6.13 (Self blame). The nine-factor solution explained 65.21 percent of the variance. These results suggest that nine factors should be extracted. The results of loading factor of all items on their own factors were more than 0.33. The items 3, 7, 16, 17, 20, and 31 were loading on other factors (0.56, -0.37, 0.43, 0.32, and 0.34). Only loading factor of item 3 on Planning was more than those of their own factor (Self-blame). Loadings factor on the expected factor are reported in Table 1.

Evaluating internal reliability of CERQ subscales by Cronbach's alfa coefficient shows that as ranges of all subscales were from 0.64 to 0.82 (see table 1). Thus, Self-blame and Acceptance had acceptable internal reliability (0.69 and 0.64), and Focus on thought, Refocus on planning, Putting into perspective, and Catastrophizing had good (> 0.70), and Positive refocusing, Positive reappraisal, and Other-blame had very good (> 0.80) internal reliability.

Table 1. Exploratory loadings for all items on their expected factor and Cronbachs as for subscales

Subscales Items (Short sentence) Factor loading Alpha

Self-blame I am blamed for it 0.68 0.69

I am responsible for it 0.84

Thinking about self mistakes 0.33

Cause must lie within myself 0.80

Acceptance Accepting this happened 0.80 0.64

Accepting the situation 0.84

I cannot change anything 0.43

I must learn to live with it 0.73

Focus on thought Thinking about experience 0.74 0.71

Preoccupied with experiences 0.76

Want to understand why I feel 0.77

Feelings have been evoked in me 0.63

Positive refocusing Thinking about nicer experiences 0.80 0.81

Think about irrelevant pleasant things 0.78

Thinking about nice instead of what 0.79

has happened

Thinking about pleasant experiences 0.68

Refocus on planning Thinking of what I can do best 0.63 0.79

Thinking about how I can best cope 0.78

with the situation

Thinking about changing the situation 0.73

Thinking about a plan to do best 0.64

Positive reappraisal Thinking about learning from the 0.73 0.82

situation

Thinking about becoming a stronger 0.68

person as a result of the situation

Thinking about positive sides of 0.77

situation

looking for the positive sides of 0.67

matter

Putting into perspective Thinking that it could be much worse 0.75 0.79

Thinking that others undergo worse 0.77

experiences

Thinking that it hasn't been too bad 0.78

compared to other things

Telling the self there are worse things 0.73

in life

Catastrophizing My experience is worse than others 0.65 0.74

experience

thinking about terrible my experience is 0.67

Thinking that what I experienced is 0.65

the worst ever

Thinking how horrible of situation 0.79

Other-blame Others are to blame for it 0.80 0.81

Others are responsible for it 0.83

Thinking about others mistakes 0.72

Cause lies with others 0.79

The mean between the scores of men and women was compared by adding the items of each subscale of CERQ. According to table 2, the score for the "Acceptance" strategy was significantly lower for women than for men (p < 0.05). Also, in men the scores for the "Putting into perspective, and Catastrophizing" strategies were significantly lower than those of women (p < 0.05).

By adding the fifteen items of MAAS to each other and determining the 50% students in ranks of MAAS scores, the subjects were divided into two groups of high and low MAAS (251 students in low and 252 students in high MAAS groups). According to table 2, when scores of cognitive emotion regulation strategies were compared with low and high MAAS groups, three adjusted cognitive emotion regulation strategies (Planning, Positive reappraisal, and Putting into perspective) were significantly higher for high MAAS group than for low MAAS group (p < 0.05). Also, unadjusted cognitive emotion regulation strategies (Self blame and Catastrophizing) were significantly higher for low MAAS group than for high MAAS group (p < 0.05).

Table 2. t-test result of CERQ in comparison between gender and MAAS groups

CERQ- Subscales LMG (n = 251) i HMG (n = 252) Male (n = 235) Female (n = 268)

Mean (SD) Mean (SD) t Mean (SD) Mean (SD) t

Self-blame 13.03(2.96) 12.19(2.54) 3.41** 12.75(2.87) 12.49(2.71) 1.04

Acceptance 12.83(3.02) 12.95(3.18) -0.43 13.18(3.14) 12.63(3.04) 1.97*

Focus on thought 13.60(3.27) 14.0(2.82) -1.44 13.59(2.83) 13.99(3.23) -1.46

Positive refocusing 11.38(3.63) 11.83(3.56) -1.40 11.87(3.20) 11.37(3.90) 1.59

Refocus on planning 14.04(3.38) 14.79(3.09) -2.58* 14.38(3.02) 14.45(3.46) -0.22

Positive reappraisal 13.57(3.61) 14.30(3.20) -2.39** 13.93(3.43) 13.94(3.44) -0.02

Putting into perspective 13.67(3.54) 14.37(3.21) -2.32* 13.61(3.42) 14.39(3.33) -2.58*

Catastrophizing 11.60(2.94) 10.81(2.86) 3.08** 10.90(2.75) 11.47(3.04) -2.20*

Other-blame 10.34(3.31) 9.85(3.23) 1.70 10.12(3.30) 10.07(3.26) 0.19

df = 501, **p < 0.01, *p < 0.05, LMG = Low MAAS Group, HMG = High MAAS Group

4. Discussion

The present study demonstrated that the Persian translation of CERQ-36 has acceptable construct validity among the students. The results of this study showed that the nine factors underlying original CERQ version were replicated in a university sample with the Persian translation. The explanatory factor analysis indices confirmed appropriates of the nine factor construction to explain the Persian data. The item 3 from "Self blame" strategy (Thinking about self mistakes) being loaded on "Planning" strategy was more than on their own factor (Self blame). This item probably shows cultural property in Iranian students and needs future study. However, item 3 from "Self blame" strategy did not confirm constant validity to original version (Garnefski et al., 2001).

At the subscale level, the lowest alfas were found for "Acceptance and self blame" strategy. The reliability scores are acceptable for "Acceptance and Self blame" and good to very good for the other subscales. In the previous study, all alfas levels were more than 0.75 (Garnefski & Kraaij, 2006). It has been found that except "Self blame and Catastrophizing", reliability are consistent with the French translation of CERQ (Jermann, Van der Linden, d'Acremont, & Zermatten, 2006). The alfas that were obtained in this study, however, are comparable to those of the original version.

This study demonstrated that the score for the "Acceptance" strategy was lower for women than for men. Also, the scores for "Putting into perspective" and "Catastrophizing" strategies were lower for men than for women. This finding indicates gender differences in using the cognitive strategies and confirms that women are susceptible to cognitive problems including mood and anxiety disorders.

The study showed that three adjusted cognitive emotion regulation strategies (Planning, Positive reappraisal, and Putting into perspective) were higher for high MAAS students than for the low ones. Also, unadjusted cognitive emotion regulation strategies (Self blame and Catastrophizing) were higher for low MAAS students than for high MAAS students. These findings are consistent with reports emphasizing the importance of mindfulness in well-

being (Brown & Ryan, 2003). Thus, a psychological intervention among low mindfulness people targeting these emotion regulation strategies in particular could be especially interesting.

Some limitations should be mentioned. Mindfulness attention awareness scale was the only measure included in the study of external validity. Although, MAAS has provided initial support for the validity of the CERQ-36 item, other measures are needed to draw more firm conclusions in future studies. However, the present study has clearly shown that the CERQ-36 item might be a valuable and reliable instrument to be used in assessment or self-report research, when there is not enough time for conducting interviews.

Acknowledgement:

We are indebted to all the students who participated in this study. References

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