Validation of the State of Mind Questionnaire (SMQ): evaluating polyvagal emotion regulation
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As counselors address issues of the mind, they inherently intervene with underlying neurobiological mechanisms. The gap between mind and body is closing, with many researchers in Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) calling for efforts to create a new diagnostic framework that focuses evaluation on processes that span mind, body, and relationships. I responded to this call by integrating research from the polyvagal theory (Porges, 2011) and affective neuroscience (Panksepp & Biven, 2012; Panksepp, 2016) to create the State of Mind Questionnaire (SMQ). The SMQ is a 42-item self-report diagnostic tool that evaluates the connection between states of mind and theorized regulatory processes correlated with the vagus nerve and affective systems. Three hundred adult participants participated in this study, which was designed to validate the SMQ by correlating the number of regulated and dysregulated states of mind from the SMQ with scores from the Global Severity Index (GSI) from the Symptom Assessment-45 (SA-45; Maruish, 2004) and exploring the predictive nature of individual states of mind for subscales within the SA-45. Overall, this preliminary study was used to explore if items from the SMQ were effective measures of clinical symptoms.
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