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Stroking your beloved one's with bear: responsive touch by the romantic partner buffers the negative effect of thought suppression on daily mood


Debrot, Anik; Schoebi, Dominik; Perrez, Meinrad; Horn, Andrea B (2014). Stroking your beloved one's with bear: responsive touch by the romantic partner buffers the negative effect of thought suppression on daily mood. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 33(1):75-97.

Abstract

Emotion regulation is important for daily well-being and health. Emotions are regulated through intrapersonal (i.e., regulating one's own emotions) and interpersonal (i.e., regulating emotions in interaction with others) processes. The current study examines the interplay of an unfavorable intrapersonal emotion regulation strategy “thought suppression” with a favorable interpersonal emotion regulation strategy “responsive touch,” in daily life. Both partners of 102 dating heterosexual couples simultaneously completed an electronic diary assessing their mood and how they dealt with their own and their partner's emotions four times a day during one week. Multilevel analysis revealed that thought suppression was associated with more negative mood not only in the suppressor but also in the romantic partner. Conversely, responsive touch was associated with more positive mood in both the receiver and the provider of this touch. Importantly, the negative effect of thought suppression was dampened by simultaneous responsive touch from the partner, which suggests a buffering effect of positive partner contact. This protection from the negative effects of maladaptive emotion regulation may point to a pathway through which close relationships contribute to better mental health.

Abstract

Emotion regulation is important for daily well-being and health. Emotions are regulated through intrapersonal (i.e., regulating one's own emotions) and interpersonal (i.e., regulating emotions in interaction with others) processes. The current study examines the interplay of an unfavorable intrapersonal emotion regulation strategy “thought suppression” with a favorable interpersonal emotion regulation strategy “responsive touch,” in daily life. Both partners of 102 dating heterosexual couples simultaneously completed an electronic diary assessing their mood and how they dealt with their own and their partner's emotions four times a day during one week. Multilevel analysis revealed that thought suppression was associated with more negative mood not only in the suppressor but also in the romantic partner. Conversely, responsive touch was associated with more positive mood in both the receiver and the provider of this touch. Importantly, the negative effect of thought suppression was dampened by simultaneous responsive touch from the partner, which suggests a buffering effect of positive partner contact. This protection from the negative effects of maladaptive emotion regulation may point to a pathway through which close relationships contribute to better mental health.

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2 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:04 Nov 2014 09:09
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:27
Publisher:Guilford Press
ISSN:0736-7236
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2014.33.1.75

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