Regulation of positive and negative emotions across cultures : does culture moderate associations between emotion regulation and mental health?

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2022
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König-Teshnizi, Dorothea
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Emotion regulation (ER) has been frequently linked to mental health (MH) with previous research focussing on a limited range of ER strategies. The present study examined whether strategies for the regulation of positive and negative emotions are differently related to MH (i.e. higher subjective well-being, less depressive symptoms) across cultures. Two samples consisting of 524 Japanese and 476 German-speaking (“Germans”) university students completed our survey. Moderation analyses revealed cultural similarities and differences in associations between ER and MH. Across cultures, distraction from negative emotions, savouring positive emotions, and reappraisal were related to better MH, whereas distraction from positive emotions and ruminating on negative experiences were related to worse MH. Moreover, the link between rumination and lower well-being was significantly weaker among Japanese compared to Germans. Expressive suppression was related to lower MH among Germans only. Contrary to the German pattern, suppressing negative emotions out of empathic concern was associated with better MH among Japanese, which was mediated by interdependent self-construal. Our findings suggest that masking negative emotions out of concern for others might be an adaptive strategy for Japanese by reinforcing interdependent values. We highlight the role of culture and the importance of distinguishing different ER strategies and emotion types.

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150 Psychologie
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emotion regulation, culture, mental health, Japan, German-speaking countries
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ISO 690SCHUNK, Fabian, Gisela TROMMSDORFF, Dorothea KÖNIG-TESHNIZI, 2022. Regulation of positive and negative emotions across cultures : does culture moderate associations between emotion regulation and mental health?. In: Cognition & Emotion. Taylor & Francis. 2022, 36(2), pp. 352-363. ISSN 0269-9931. eISSN 1464-0600. Available under: doi: 10.1080/02699931.2021.1997924
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@article{Schunk2022-03Regul-55515,
  year={2022},
  doi={10.1080/02699931.2021.1997924},
  title={Regulation of positive and negative emotions across cultures : does culture moderate associations between emotion regulation and mental health?},
  number={2},
  volume={36},
  issn={0269-9931},
  journal={Cognition & Emotion},
  pages={352--363},
  author={Schunk, Fabian and Trommsdorff, Gisela and König-Teshnizi, Dorothea}
}
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