HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Cognitive fusion and post-trauma functioning in veterans : Examining the mediating roles of emotion dysregulation

Article

A study which aims to integrate theory and research on cognitive fusion and post-trauma functioning to evaluate a theory-based model in which emotion dysregulation—specifically, emotional non-acceptance and emotional non-clarity—mediated the association between cognitive fusion and post-trauma functioning in a veteran sample.

Abstract

When cognitively fused, people have difficulty accepting and clearly perceiving their internal experiences. Following trauma, emotional non-acceptance and emotional non-clarity have been associated with post-trauma functioning. The aim of the present study was to integrate theory and research on cognitive fusion and post-trauma functioning to evaluate a theory-based model in which emotion dysregulation—specifically, emotional non-acceptance and emotional non-clarity—mediated the association between cognitive fusion and post-trauma functioning in a veteran sample. Participants were 149 veterans with a history of military-related trauma. Veterans completed measures of cognitive fusion, emotion dysregulation, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and life satisfaction. Overall, emotion dysregulation and PTSD symptoms mediated the fusion-post-trauma functioning association in theoretically consistent ways. More specifically, fusion was related to PTSD through emotional non-clarity and fusion was related to goal dysregulation through emotional non-acceptance and PTSD. Our findings indicate that fusion impacts different aspects of post-trauma functioning through different mediators. How these different pathways could impact clinical decision making are discussed.

Full Reference

Cox, Daniel W. ; Motl, Thomas C. ; Myfanwy Bakker, A. ; Lunt, Rachael A. (2018). Cognitive fusion and post-trauma functioning in veterans : Examining the mediating roles of emotion dysregulation, Journal of contextual behavioral science, Vol: 8, p.1-7.