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Investigating the Interrelationships between Adverse Developmental Experience, Emotion Regulation Strategies, and Mental Health

McGinty, Gráinne (2018) Investigating the Interrelationships between Adverse Developmental Experience, Emotion Regulation Strategies, and Mental Health. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Background: Adverse developmental experiences influence the development of emotion regulation (ER) strategies; and ER strategies are associated with individual differences in mental health. This study’s sought to determine if: (1) sex, age, peer-rejection, parental supervision, childhood adversities, and attachment styles were associated with adaptive and maladaptive ER strategies; and (2) ER strategies were significantly associated with anxiety/depression symptoms and psychological wellbeing, respectively, after controlling for sex, age, and adverse developmental experiences.

Methods: A non-probability convenience sample was used including participants from a forum for victims of childhood abuse (N = 235). Self-report measures were employed and data were analyzed using standard and hierarchical multiple regression analyses. Findings: In the case of objective 1, the standard multiple regression models explained 11% and 32% of variance in cognitive reappraisal (adaptive ER) and expressive suppression (maladaptive ER), respectively. Peer-rejection and anxious attachment were negatively associated with cognitive reappraisal; and secure attachment was negatively associated with expressive suppression. In the case of objective 2, hierarchical multiple regression results found that ER strategies significantly contributed to the explanation of anxiety/depression symptoms and psychological wellbeing scores, after controlling for demographic and developmental factors. Cognitive reappraisal, but not expressive suppression, was associated with positive and negative psychological health.

Discussion: Attachment styles and peer-rejection are particularly important correlates of adaptive and maladaptive ER strategies. Furthermore, ER evidenced incremental validity in the prediction of mental health status. Clinical interventions seeking to improve mental health should pay particular attention to cognitive appraisal.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Cognitive psychology
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Psychology
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2018 11:24
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2018 11:24

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