Psykologisk Institut

Mia Skytte OToole

Social anxiety and emotion regulation flexibility: Considering emotion intensity and type as contextual factors

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Individuals with social anxiety disorder have often been considered inflexible in their emotion regulation. The aim of this study was to investigate emotion regulation flexibility in socially anxious individuals in response to two contextual factors, namely different levels of emotion intensity and emotion type.

METHODS: A daily diary approach was employed, investigating emotion regulation (i.e., experiential avoidance, expressive suppression and cognitive reappraisal) in college students scoring high (N = 62; HSA) and low (N = 52; LSA) on social anxiety.

RESULTS: Results revealed that HSAs were found to use more experiential avoidance than LSAs, especially at higher levels of negative intensity. The use of this emotion regulation strategy appeared to be driven by guilt, nervousness, and sadness. There were no between-group differences concerning the other strategies in response to varying levels of emotional intensity.

CONCLUSIONS: Together, the results provide evidence for inflexible emotion regulation in HSAs, reflected in an unwillingness to experience negative emotions.
TidsskriftAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Sider (fra-til)716-724
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2017

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