, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 271-291
Date: 23 Nov 2007

Emotion Regulation: Antecedents and Well-Being Outcomes of Cognitive Reappraisal and Expressive Suppression in Cross-Cultural Samples

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Abstract

Habitual emotional state is a predictor of long-term health and life expectancy and successful emotion regulation is necessary for adaptive functioning. However, people are often unsuccessful in regulating their emotions. We investigated the use of cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression in 489 university students in Norway, Australia, and the United States and how these strategies related to measures of well-being (affect, life satisfaction, and depressed mood). Data was collected by means of selfadministered questionnaires. The major aims of the study were to begin to explore the prevalence of use of cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression across gender, age and culture, possible antecedents of emotion regulation strategies, and the influence of emotion regulation upon well-being. Results showed that the use of emotion regulation strategies varied across age, gender and culture. Private self-consciousness (self-reflection and insight) was found to be a central antecedent for the use of cognitive reappraisal. Use of emotion regulation strategies predicted well-being outcomes, also after the effect of extraversion and neuroticism had been controlled for. Generally, increased use of cognitive reappraisal predicted increased levels of positive well-being outcomes, while increased use of expressive suppression predicted increased levels of negative well-being outcomes.