Psychometric properties of the Brazilian version of the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS)

Abstract Introduction: Emotion regulation can be defined as the process by which individuals manage their emotional experience. It has been demonstrated that deficits in this ability are associated with various psychiatric disorders. In this direction, the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS) was developed to measure difficulties in emotion regulation. Objective: To examine the psychometric properties of the Brazilian Portuguese version of the DERS. Method: A total of 377 individuals from the general population, selected by convenience, completed a sociodemographic form, the adapted Brazilian Portuguese DERS and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21). Factor structure, reliability, and concurrent validity of the adapted version of the instrument were investigated. Results: The confirmatory factor analysis replicated the six-factor structure originally proposed for the instrument and confirmed the acceptability of a hierarchical model where all DERS subscales loaded on a general emotion dysregulation factor. Internal consistency indicators had adequate values for the general factor and subscales. The positive association between DERS and DASS-21 scores supports the instrument's concurrent validity. Conclusion: These results suggest that the Brazilian version of the DERS is reliable both as a general measure of difficulties in emotion regulation and as a measure of the constituents of this construct. Future research should investigate the psychometric properties of the scale in clinical and nonclinical populations, with equal gender proportions and diverse backgrounds, and preferably employing longitudinal designs.