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Dutch Mplus Users Group

Peter Koval

Capturing the dynamics of emotion regulation in daily life


Emotion regulation is central to well-being. Despite a growing interest in emotion regulation, very little is known about how it dynamically unfolds in daily life. Real-world emotion regulation is difficult to study because people’s regulatory goals may change over time, different regulation strategies may often be used concurrently, and because the use and effectiveness of regulation strategies may be moderated by contextual factors. To investigate these issues, participants (N=179) recorded their spontaneous use of nine emotion regulation strategies at approx. 9 random moments each day for 21 days, using a smartphone app. Participants also rated their current affect, regulatory goals and situational appraisals. Individual differences in personality and well-being were measured at baseline. I will discuss the results of multilevel time-series analyses examining how the use and effectiveness of emotion regulation strategies varied as a function of i) current regulatory goals, ii) other concurrently deployed regulation strategies, and iii) contextual and dispositional factors.

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