Development and Validation of a Brief Version of the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale: The DERS-16

Johan Bjureberg, Brjánn Ljótsson, Matthew T. Tull, Erik Hedman, Hanna Sahlin, Lars Gunnar Lundh, Jonas Bjärehed, David DiLillo, Terri Messman-Moore, Clara Hellner Gumpert, Kim L. Gratz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

368 Scopus citations


The Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS) is a widely-used, theoretically-driven, and psychometrically-sound self-report measure of emotion regulation difficulties. However, at 36-items, the DERS may be challenging to administer in some situations or settings (e.g., in the course of patient care or large-scale epidemiological studies). Consequently, there is a need for a briefer version of the DERS. The goal of the present studies was to develop and evaluate a 16-item version of the DERS – the DERS-16. The reliability and validity of the DERS-16 were examined in a clinical sample (N = 96) and two large community samples (Ns = 102 and 482). The validity of the DERS-16 was evaluated comparing the relative strength of the association of the two versions of the DERS with measures of emotion regulation and related constructs, psychopathology, and clinically-relevant behaviors theorized to stem from emotion regulation deficits. Results demonstrate that the DERS-16 has retained excellent internal consistency, good test-retest reliability, and good convergent and discriminant validity. Further, the DERS-16 showed minimal differences in its convergent and discriminant validity with relevant measures when compared to the original DERS. In conclusion, the DERS-16 offers a valid and brief method for the assessment of overall emotion regulation difficulties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-296
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Emotion regulation
  • Experiential avoidance
  • Self-report measure
  • Short version

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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