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Emotional Suppression and Breast Cancer: Validation Research on the Spanish Adaptation of the Courtauld Emotional Control Scale (CECS)

  • Estrella Durá (a1), Yolanda Andreu (a1), Maria José Galdón (a1), Elena Ibáñez (a1), Sandra Pérez (a1), Maite Ferrando (a1), Sergio Murgui (a1) and Paula Martínez (a1)...

Emotional suppression has played an important role in the research on psychosocial factors related to cancer. It has been argued to be an important psychological factor predicting worse psychosocial adjustment in people with cancer and it may mediate health outcomes. The reference instrument in the research on emotional suppression is the Courtauld Emotional Control Scale (CECS). The present study analysed construct validity of a new Spanish adaptation of the CECS in a sample of 175 breast cancer patients. The results confirmed the proposal by Watson and Greer claiming that the CECS is composed of three subscales that measure different dimensions, but not independent, from emotional control. The present Spanish version of the CECS showed high internal consistency in each subscale as well as the total score. According to Derogatis (BSI-18) criteria, emotional suppression predicts clinically significant distress. In short, our results support the reliability, validity and utility of this Spanish adaptation of the CECS in clinical and research settings.

La supresión emocional ha jugado un papel importante en la investigación de los factores psicosociales relacionados con el cáncer. Se ha discutido que es un importante factor psicológico que predice un peor ajuste psicosocial en las personas que sufren cáncer y que puede mediar los resultados médicos. El instrumento de referencia en la investigación acerca de la supresión emocional es el Courtauld Emotional Control Scale (CECS). El presente estudio analiza la validez de constructo de una nueva adaptación española del CECS en una muestra de 175 pacientes con cáncer de mama. Los resultados confirman la estructura propuesta por Watson y Greer para el instrumento, compuesta de tres subescalas que evalúan distintas dimensiones no independientes, del control emocional. La presente versión española del CECS mostró una elevada consistencia interna de cada una de las subescalas y de la puntuación total. Además la supresión emocional predice el distrés clínico significativo, según criterios de Derogatis (BSI-18). En resumen, nuestros resultados respaldan la fiabilidad, validez y utilidad de la adaptación española del CECS en contextos clínicos y de investigación.

Corresponding author
Correspondence concerning this article should be adressed to Maite Ferrando. Departamento de Personalidad, Evaluación y Tratamientos Psicológicos. Facultad de Psicología. Universidad de Valencia. Avda Blasco Ibañez, 21. 46010 Valencia. (Spain). Phone: +34-963864389. Fax: +34-963864669. E-mail:
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The Spanish Journal of Psychology
  • ISSN: 1138-7416
  • EISSN: 1988-2904
  • URL: /core/journals/spanish-journal-of-psychology
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