Original Research

Exploring the Emotional Dysregulation Scale-Short Form in isolated, confined, and extreme environments

Charles H. van Wijk
African Journal of Psychological Assessment | Vol 5 | a119 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajopa.v5i0.119 | © 2023 Charles H. van Wijk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 September 2022 | Published: 22 March 2023

About the author(s)

Charles H. van Wijk, Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa; and, Institute for Maritime Medicine, Simon’s Town, South Africa


The Emotional Dysregulation Scale-Short Form (EDS-S) may have potential for assessing emotional dysregulation (ED) both in general clinical mental health environments and in specialised work settings. Before it can be used fairly and appropriately, evidence of its validity in the local South African (SA) context is required. This study thus explored its psychometric characteristics among local working adult samples by pursuing three specific objectives, namely, to investigate its structural validity, its construct validity, and issues around practical use (e.g. priming bias and ability to predict performance). Data were collected across four samples that comprised general workers and specialised naval personnel (total N = 1374), who also completed measures of clinical mental health and other adjustment difficulties. Statistical analysis included examination of socio-demographic effects, internal consistencies, confirmatory factor analysis, measurement invariance, and associations with measures of mental health and adjustment difficulties (including binomial logistic regressions and receiver operating/operator characteristics curve analyses). This study reported evidence of structural and criterion validity, with significant associations to measures of mental health and adjustment difficulties, for the 12-item EDS-S in non-clinical samples of SA workers. The study further provided preliminary support for its predictive utility in specialised work environments. Preliminary evidence of validity of the EDS-S in SA worker samples with sufficient English proficiency was demonstrated.

Contribution: There is some support for the use of the EDS-S in clinical research and applied practise. However, caution must be observed for possible effects of language proficiency and further research into the role of language is required.



EDS-S; emotional dysregulation; Isolated, confined and extreme environments; mental health; South Africa; validity

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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