Advertisement

Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 763–773 | Cite as

Interactions of emotion regulation and perceived stress in predicting emerging adults’ subsequent internalizing symptoms

  • Evan Zahniser
  • Colleen S. Conley
Original Paper
  • 302 Downloads

Abstract

Emotion regulation is consistently linked to subsequent wellbeing, but little research has examined the moderating role of emotion regulation in longitudinal associations between mental health and other relevant factors. This study examines two specific emotion regulation strategies interacting with perceived stress to predict subsequent internalizing symptoms among emerging adults transitioning to college, a population for whom emotion regulation may be particularly important. A sample of 1130 college students provided data at three time points. Results indicated that cognitive reappraisal buffered against negative effects of stress, whereas expressive suppression was an independent risk factor for internalizing symptoms. Findings underscore the importance of emotion regulation, highlighting cognitive reappraisal as a protective factor against stress and further demonstrating the direct negative impacts of expressive suppression.

Keywords

Emotion regulation Emerging adults Internalizing symptoms Longitudinal design 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Formal consent

For this type of study formal consent is not required.

References

  1. Aldao, A., Nolen-Hoeksema, S., & Schweizer, S. (2010). Emotion-regulation strategies across psychopathology: A meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(2), 217–237.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2009.11.004.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist, 55(5), 469–480.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.5.469.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6), 1173–1182.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Berking, M., Ebert, D., Cuijpers, P., & Hofmann, S. G. (2013). Emotion regulation skills training enhances the efficacy of inpatient cognitive behavioral therapy for major depressive disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 82(4), 234–245.  https://doi.org/10.1159/000348448.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bewick, B., Koutsopoulou, G., Miles, J., Slaa, E., & Barkham, M. (2010). Changes in undergraduate students’ psychological well-being as they progress through university. Studies in Higher Education, 35(6), 633–645.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03075070903216643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brewer, S. K., Zahniser, E., & Conley, C. S. (2016). Longitudinal impacts of emotion regulation on emerging adults: Variable-and person-centered approaches. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 47, 1–12.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2016.09.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Butler, E. A., Egloff, B., Wilhelm, F. H., Smith, N. C., Erickson, E. A., & Gross, J. J. (2003). The social consequences of expressive suppression. Emotion, 3(1), 48.  https://doi.org/10.1037/1528-3542.3.1.48.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Castro-Schilo, L., & Grimm, K. J. (2018). Using residualized change versus difference scores for longitudinal research. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 35(1), 32–58.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407517718387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ciarrochi, J., Deane, F. P., & Anderson, S. (2002). Emotional intelligence moderates the relationship between stress and mental health. Personality and Individual Differences, 32(2), 197–209.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0191-8869(01)00012-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cohen, P., & Brook, J. S. (1987). Family factors related to the persistence of psychopathology in childhood and adolescence. Psychiatry, 50, 332–345.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24(4), 385–396.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2136404.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Conley, C. S., Travers, L. T., & Bryant, F. B. (2013). Promoting psychosocial adjustment and stress management in first-year college students: The benefits of engagement in a psychosocial wellness seminar. Journal of American College Health, 61(2), 75–86.  https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2012.754757.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Dimidjian, S., Sherwood, N. E., Gallop, R., Boggs, J. M., Hubley, S., Goodman, S. H., … Beck, A. (2017). A pragmatic randomized clinical trial of behavioral activation for depressed pregnant women. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 85(1), 26–36.  https://doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000151.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Dohrenwend, B. S., & Dohrenwend, B. P. (1974). Stressful life events: Their nature and effects. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  15. Dohrenwend, B. S., & Dohrenwend, B. P. (1981). Stressful life events and their contexts. New York: Prodist.Google Scholar
  16. English, T., John, O. P., Srivastava, S., & Gross, J. J. (2012). Emotion regulation and peer-rated social functioning: A 4-year longitudinal study. Journal of Research in Personality, 46(6), 780–784.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2012.09.006.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. Felton, J. W., Banducci, A. N., Shadur, J. M., Stadnik, R., MacPherson, L., & Lejuez, C. W. (2017). The developmental trajectory of perceived stress mediates the relations between distress tolerance and internalizing symptoms among youth. Development and Psychopathology, 29(4), 1391–1401.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579417000335.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Freund, A. M., & Staudinger, U. M. (2015). The value of “negative” appraisals for resilience: Is positive (re)appraisal always good and negative always bad? Behavioral and Brain Sciences.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X14001526.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Gross, J. J. (1998). Antecedent-and response-focused emotion regulation: divergent consequences for experience, expression, and physiology. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(1), 224–237.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.74.1.224.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Gross, J. J. (2015). Emotion regulation: Current status and future prospects. Psychological Inquiry, 26(1), 1–26.  https://doi.org/10.1080/1047840X.2014.940781.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gross, J. J., & John, O. P. (2003). Individual differences in two emotion regulation processes: Implications for affect, relationships, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(2), 348–362.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.85.2.348.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Gross, J. J., & Thompson, R. A. (2007). Emotion regulation: Conceptual foundations. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (pp. 3–24). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  23. Gruber, J., Mauss, I. B., & Tamir, M. (2011). A dark side of happiness? How, when, and why happiness is not always good. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6(3), 222–233.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691611406927.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Hefner, J., & Eisenberg, D. (2009). Social support and mental health among college students. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 79(4), 491–499.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0016918.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Henry, J. D., & Crawford, J. R. (2005). The short-form version of the depression anxiety stress scales (DASS-21): Construct validity and normative data in a large non-clinical sample. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44(2), 227–239.  https://doi.org/10.1348/014466505X29657.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. John, O. P., & Gross, J. J. (2004). Healthy and unhealthy emotion regulation: Personality processes, individual differences, and life span development. Journal of Personality, 72(6), 1301–1334.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.2004.00298.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Kitzrow, M. A. (2003). Mental health needs of today’s college students: Challenges and recommendations. NASPA Journal, 41(1), 165–179.  https://doi.org/10.2202/0027-6014.1310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lei, M., & Lomax, R. G. (2005). The effect of varying degrees on nonnormality in structural equation modeling. Structural Equation Modeling, 12(1), 1–27.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s15328007sem1201_1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lovibond, P. F., & Lovibond, S. H. (1995). The structure of negative emotional states: Comparison of the depression anxiety stress scales (DASS) with the beck depression and anxiety inventories. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 33(3), 335–343.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0005-7967(94)00075-U.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Martin, R. C., & Dahlen, E. R. (2005). Cognitive emotion regulation in the prediction of depression, anxiety, stress, and anger. Personality and Individual Differences, 39(7), 1249–1260.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2005.06.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Masten, A. S., Obradović, J., & Burt, K. B. (2006). Resilience in emerging adulthood: Developmental perspectives on continuity and transformation. In J. J. Arnett & J. L. Tanner (Eds.), Emerging adults in America: Coming of age in the 21st century (pp. 21–55). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  32. Moore, S. A., Zoellner, L. A., & Mollenholt, N. (2008). Are expressive suppression and cognitive reappraisal associated with stress related symptoms? Behavior Research and Therapy, 46(9), 993–1000.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2008.05.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nezlek, J. B., & Kuppens, P. (2008). Regulating positive and negative emotions in daily life. Journal of Personality, 76(3), 561–580.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.2008.00496.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2012). Emotion regulation and psychopathology: The role of gender. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 8, 161–187.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032511-143109.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Osman, A., Wong, J. L., Bagge, C. L., Freedenthal, S., Gutierrez, P. M., & Lozano, G. (2012). The depression anxiety stress scales–21 (DASS-21): Further examination of dimensions, scale reliability, and correlates. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 68(12), 1322–1338.  https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.21908.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Phillips, K. F. V., & Power, M. J. (2007). A new self-report measure of emotion regulation in adolescents: The regulation of emotions questionnaire. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 14(2), 145–156.  https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pierceall, E. A., & Keim, M. C. (2007). Stress and coping strategies among community college students. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 31(9), 703–712.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10668920600866579.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 879–903.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.88.5.879.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Roberti, J. W., Harrington, L. N., & Storch, E. A. (2006). Further psychometric support for the 10-item version of the perceived stress scale. Journal of College Counseling, 9(2), 135–147.  https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2161-1882.2006.tb00100.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rogosa, D. (1995). Myths and methods: “Myths about longitudinal research” plus supplemental questions. In J. M. Gottman (Ed.), The analysis of change (pp. 3–66). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  41. Schulenberg, J. E., Sameroff, A. J., & Cicchetti, D. (2004). The transition to adulthood as a critical juncture in the course of psychopathology and mental health. Development and Psychopathology, 16(4), 799–806.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579404040015.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Soto, J. A., Perez, C. R., Kim, Y., Lee, E. A., & Minnick, M. R. (2011). Is expressive suppression always associated with poorer psychological functioning? A cross-cultural comparison between European Americans and Hong Kong Chinese. Emotion, 11(6), 1450–1455.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0023340.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Srivastava, S., Tamir, M., McGonigal, K. M., John, O. P., & Gross, J. J. (2009). The social costs of emotional suppression: A prospective study of the transition to college. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96(4), 883–897.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0014755.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  44. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics (5th edn.). Northridge, CA: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  45. Troy, A. S., Wilhelm, F. H., Shallcross, A. J., & Mauss, I. B. (2010). Seeing the silver lining: Cognitive reappraisal ability moderates the relationship between stress and depressive symptoms. Emotion, 10(6), 783–975.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0020262.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  46. United States Department of Labor. (2017). College enrollment and work activity of 2016 high school graduates: (USDL-17-0477). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  47. VanKim, N. A., & Nelson, T. F. (2014). Vigorous physical activity, mental health, perceived stress, and socializing among college students. American Journal of Health Promotion, 28(1), 7–15.  https://doi.org/10.4278/ajhp.111101-QUAN-395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Webb, T. L., Miles, E., & Sheeran, P. (2012). Dealing with feeling: A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of strategies derived from the process model of emotion regulation. Psychological Bulletin, 138(4), 775–808.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0027600.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Zivin, K., Eisenberg, D., Gollust, S. E., & Golberstein, E. (2009). Persistence of mental health problems and needs in a college student population. Journal of Affective Disorders, 117(3), 180–185.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2009.01.001.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLoyola University ChicagoChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations