Masters Thesis

Negative Mood Regulation Expectancies, Fibromyalgia, Childhood Trauma, and Depression.

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain condition that affects 2% to 4% of the population. Many patients with FM report a history of depression and child abuse. Childhood abuse affects both physical and mental health in adulthood. Negative mood regulation expectancies (NMRE) are one’s belief that one can alleviate his or her negative moods (Catanzaro & Mearns, 1990). People with higher NMRE experience fewer mental and physical symptoms in adulthood following childhood maltreatment. My study investigated how NMRE, depression, childhood trauma, and FM were related. The study expected to find that more severe child abuse would be associated with lower NMR Scale scores, more depression, and more FM symptoms. NMRE was also expected to mediate the relationships of child abuse with both depression and FM symptoms. Questionnaires were completed by 164 participants with an FM diagnosis (n = 34) or a history of child abuse (n = 130). Participants were sampled from online support groups for FM and child abuse. More severe child abuse was associated with greater depression, but it was unrelated to NMRE and FM symptoms. Higher NMRE were associated with lower depression, but they had no association with FM symptoms. This study did not support past research suggesting that NMRE may influence health symptoms. Limitations include that the current study had few participants and many incomplete responses to the questionnaires. Future research should include non-self-report measures and should collect questionnaire data at multiple sessions to better understand causality among the variables.

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