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In the present set of studies we examined whether expectancies about emotion regulation strategies moderate the relationship between experiential avoidance (EA) and negative emotional experiences. In Study 1, college students (N = 334) completed self-report measures assessing EA, expectancies about emotion regulation strategies, and psychological symptoms (depression, anxiety, and stress). In Study 2, college students (N = 97) completed (a) self-report measures assessing pre-task state negative affect, EA, and expectancies about emotion regulation strategies; (b) either an emotionally neutral or emotionally negative task; and (c) a self-report measure of post-task state negative affect. Consistent with predictions, pessimistic expectancies about emotion regulation strategies (reflecting perceptions about having a lack of emotion regulation abilities) potentiated the relationship between EA and negative emotional reactions in both studies. In Study 2, this potentiating effect was observed in response to the emotionally negative, but not emotionally neutral, task. Conceptual and therapeutic implications are discussed.
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- Experiential Avoidance and Negative Emotional Experiences: The Moderating Role of Expectancies About Emotion Regulation Strategies
Thomas A. Fergus
Joseph R. Bardeen
Holly K. Orcutt
- Springer US