Affect Regulation and the Development of Psychopathology

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From our regular book review column.

This book elaborates a model of affect dysregulation as the core factor in the development of psychopathology. The author begins the book with definitions of the key terms that she uses in the book, including affects, emotional feelings, and arousal. Next, she describes research that by examining risk factors, points to the importance of a general arousal factor for the development of psychopathology. She then discusses various “brain factors,” including anatomical structures and neurochemical pathways, and “mind factors,” i.e., internal psychological structures that are involved in the regulation of affect. She concludes the book with illustrations of how the model that she proposes can be used to explain various psychiatric disorders.

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(6):481