Emotion Regulation in the Context of Stress
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Due to the ubiquitous nature of emotions, it is increasingly important to effectively regulate them in stressful situations. Much of the prior research on emotion regulation has been performed in the laboratory. Very few studies have looked at emotion regulation in the context of stress outside of the laboratory. We address this issue by examining daily diary data from 100 participants who reported on the most stressful event of the day and their use of emotion regulation strategies for seven days. Results indicate that reappraisal (reframing an emotional event) was the most commonly used emotion regulation strategy and that it was linked to higher levels positive affect and lower levels of negative affect compared to suppression (not expressing one's emotions) and distraction (diverting one's attention away from a stressor). These results suggest reappraisal is an important strategy for regulating both positive and negative affect in response to stress. This project was made possible by funding from F&M's Hackman Summer Scholars Program.
Poster presented at the 2016 Autumn Research Fair at Franklin and Marshall College