The Affective Style Questionnaire: Development and Psychometric Properties

Article

Abstract

Affective style is an individual difference variable that refers to tendencies for regulating emotions. The emotion research literature has consistently identified three general strategies to handle emotional reactions: some strategies are aimed at re-adjusting affect to adapt successfully to situational demands; other strategies are intended to conceal or suppress affect; and a third approach is to tolerate and accept emotions, including unwanted and aversive reactions. We conducted two studies to develop a self-report measure to assess these affective styles. In the first study (n = 434), a list of 127 items related to this construct was administered. A factor analysis supported three factors: habitual attempts to conceal or suppress affect (Concealing subscale; 8 items), a general ability to manage, adjust, and work with emotions as needed (Adjusting subscale; 7 items), and an accepting and tolerant attitude toward emotions (Tolerating subscale; 5 items). The scale showed satisfactory internal consistency. Furthermore, the respective subscales showed different patterns of relations with existing instruments measuring similar constructs. Findings were cross-validated in an independent sample (n = 495). The factor structure and results of psychometric analyses were replicated. The final 20-item Affective Style Questionnaire is a brief instrument to measure individual differences in emotion regulation.

Keywords

Affect regulation Self-regulation Suppression Cognitive reappraisal Acceptance Experiential avoidance Distress tolerance 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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