Next-day effects of dysfunctional and functional emotion regulation and the moderating role of experiential avoidance (Pages 22-28)

Volume 12, April 2019, Pages 22-28

Skye Fitzpatrick, Jennifer E. Khoury, Lillian Krantz, Richard Zeifman, Janice R. Kuoc


This work examined the influence of trait experiential avoidance (EA) on the relationship between functional versus dysfunctional emotion regulation (ER) strategies and next-day negative emotion. Participants (N = 154) reported levels of EA, and then provided daily measurements of negative emotional intensity and frequency of the use of dysfunctional and functional ER strategies that are focused inwards towards the self (internal) or outwards towards others (external) for six consecutive days. Hierarchical linear modeling indicated that higher internal-dysfunctional ER strategy use predicted higher next-day emotional intensity. Also, trait EA moderated the relationship between external-dysfunctional ER use and next-day negative emotion: lower EA individuals experienced higher, but higher EA individuals experienced lower, negative emotion the day following increased external-dysfunctional strategy use. Findings suggest internal-dysfunctional ER is associated with increased next-day negative emotion. As well, external-dysfunctional strategies are associated with next-day emotion among individuals who are more aware of emotion (i.e., lower EA), and may lead to a blunted response among those higher in EA. A range of explanations for the moderating effect of trait EA on the relationship between external-dysfunctional ER and next day emotion are discussed.

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