Although the exact definition of ELA continues to be debated , and different types of ELA (e.g., physical abuse, neglect) have traditionally been studied separately, empirical evidence indicates that they are interrelated and frequently co-occur [52, 53]. Researchers have approached and measured cognitive flexibility in several different ways . outcome. Considering that greater perceived stress has been shown to be associated with reduced habitual use of cognitive reappraisal , our fifth hypothesis was that reappraisal would attenuate the effect of ELA on perceived chronic stress, with implications for cognitive flexibility. of suppression. Emotion regulation alters the trajectories of the emotion responses and shapes the resultant affective reactions. This indirect effect of ACEs on CFI-Control through PSS scores was significant at all low, 95% CI: [-0.73, -0.21], average, 95% CI: [-0.85, -0.53] and high, 95% CI: [-1.13, -0.68] levels of reappraisal. If you’re thinking “This is going to hurt,” it activates the amygdala, as well as associated pain networks and, thus, you’re more receptive to feel the pain. What you’re doing is, you’re neutralizing your emotional reaction – including the physiological, affective and behavioral responses – before the situation happens. My opinion on this however may be due to cultural influences. The Emotion Regulation Scale. Concordant with previous reports, our data demonstrate a dosage effect , such that the higher the number of ACEs a person reported the more likely they were to report feeling stressed and that they could not cope with challenges. The fact that our sample size had a wide age range (19–86 years) may have influenced our results. The Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ) is a 10-item self-report measure of two emotion regulation strategies; cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression. Emotion regulation strategies help to maintain, increase, or decrease an individual’s response to emotion-evoking events [ 17 ]. Depending on their approach, tasks measuring cognitive flexibility assess different aspects of cognitive flexibility . As a result, the individual might develop short-term or maladaptive coping strategies (e.g., drug use) that help them cope with their stress . Overall, our data add some support to the notion that exposure to early abuse alters threat appraisal in adulthood . Both the main effects of ACEs, B = 0.72, t(403) = 6.74, p < .001, and suppression, B = 0.29, t(403) = 4.38, p < .001, were significant and both coefficients were positive. Once again, these results indicate that a greater number of ACEs is associated with higher perceived chronic stress, which is in turn associated with a lessened sense of control in difficult life circumstances. Let’s start with Reappraisal – when and how would you use this technique? Some researchers propose that set shifting and attention shifting are key characteristics of cognitive flexibility ; whereas other researchers have highlighted the flexible adaptation of behavior and cognitive processes to changing environmental demands . Researcher James Gross Five items in the scale ask about exposure to different types of maltreatment (e.g., Did a parent or other adult in the household often push, grab, slap or throw something at you?). Gross and colleagues have shown that, in comparison to suppression, reappraisal is an adaptive method for regulating one’s emotions . For example, some people use meditation or mindfulness techniques to handle intense feelings, helping them relax and cope healthily. The main goal of this study was to assess the emotion regulation (ER) mechanisms, such as expressive suppression and cognitive reappraisal, in patients with psoriasis, as compared with healthy persons not afflicted by dermatological diseases. Gross’s process model of emotion regulation suggests that emotion regulation begins after the identification of an emotion as being helpful or harmful to a goal . Formal analysis, Is the Subject Area "Emotions" applicable to this article? Descriptors: Emotion, Regulation, Suppression, Reappraisal Emotions represent the “wisdom of the ages” ~Lazarus, 1991, p. Based on prior research showing that exposure to ELA is associated with diminished cognitive flexibility [41, 44], our primary prediction was adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) would predict reduced cognitive flexibility (i.e., lower scores on the CFI). Importantly, however, emotions do not force us to respond in Emotion regulation (ER) refers to attempts to influence emotions in ourselves or others. This chronic stress has been proposed as the explanation for the association between ELA and negative health outcomes . Project administration, a form of emotion regulation defined as the conscious inhibition of emotional expressive behavior while … You would use this strategy when There are different regulatory strategies when it comes to emotion regulation, This finding further highlights that the impact of ACEs accumulates with increasing exposure to different types of adversities [3, 63]. For instance, past research has shown that ACEs are linked with poor economic outcomes and food insecurity . The target sample size was determined using Monte Carlo simulations anticipating small to medium effect sizes. In order to examine associations between ACEs, perceived stress, cognitive flexibility, and emotion regulation, we conducted bivariate correlations. Our paper taps into the topic of flexibility in the domain of emotion regulation. These individuals showed consistently high perceived stress regardless of the number of ACEs. In the first model, we observed that number of ACEs predicted lower scores on CFI-Control. Through thinking about it differently and acting to divert your attention beforehand. Is there anything I can do to put myself in a good mood beforehand?” If you’re interested in learning more about reappraisal and how to use it, check out this post . Participants responded to a brief description of the study and were recruited until the maximum number approved by the institutional review board was reached. You are doing yourself a favour if you act beforehand to manage your emotions. We sought to test two moderated mediation models in which reported number of ACEs both directly and indirectly, via perceived stress scores, predicted participants’ CFI-Control. Roles Although empirical evidence suggests that early life stress is associated with reduced cognitive flexibility in children and adolescents [41, 44], our data indicate that ELA might not influence all aspects of cognitive flexibility in adults. Reappraisal happens early in the emotion regulation process and changes how we think about a situation beforehand. But, we also expected that chronic stress would mediate the relationship between ELA and cognitive flexibility because of the known impact of ELA on allostasis . However, because emotion regulation strategy use moderated the effect of ACEs on PSS, tests of the indirect effect will be conducted using moderated mediation analyses, as the indirect effect may be conditional upon values of the moderator. Individuals living with the United States were recruited via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk; N = 486; participants who failed more than half of the attention checks were removed; Male = 335; Female = 150; Missing = 1). Behaviour Research and Therapy, 46, 1201 – 1209. In other words, number of ACEs would be positively correlated with perceived stress levels. Thus, individuals with the lowest number of ACEs experienced more benefit from using cognitive reappraisal to regulate their emotions than those with the highest number of ACEs. At the moment I am mainly educating on topics concerning mental health and wellbeing. Yet, the impact of ACEs on psychological variables, such as emotion regulation and cognitive flexibility, are understudied. Empirical evidence in support of this notion indicates that physically abused children are more likely to over-recognize angry or negative facial expressions [28, 42]. In the second moderated mediation model, we tested whether the path from ACEs to perceived stress was moderated by individual differences in habitual use of expressive suppression to regulate emotions. For more information about PLOS Subject Areas, click https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0235412.g002. on Emotion Regulation – Reappraisal vs. Suppression, Positive Psychology and Wellbeing Blog | Emilia Lorenz. Several limitations must be noted when interpreting our findings. Based on prior research showing that chronic psychosocial stress disrupts pFC functioning, which has a negative impact on attentional control in set-shifting tasks , we assumed that chronic stress levels would influence cognitive flexibility negatively. As shown in neuroimaging studies, when the dlPFC activates, it downregulates the amygdala and sympathetic nervous system and, therefore, decreases your distress (If you want to know more about these brain structures, check out this link). ways in which you can regulate your emotions prior to an event. humility, gratitude, curiosity, acceptance, contentment. Our sample had a majority of participants (73.2%) who had experienced at least one ACE, while 42.1% of the sample reported four or more ACEs. – when and how would you use this technique? Expressive suppression is generally considered to be a maladaptive emotion regulation strategy. One of life's great challenges is successfully regulating emotions. Since chronic stress debilitates activity in the prefrontal cortex (pFC), maladaptive regulatory strategies in response to stress have been proposed as one explanation for the impact of early life adversity on health outcomes in adulthood. Approximately 4% (~16 individuals) of the sample fell above this threshold. Gross [ 18 ] has identified two key strategies–expressive suppression and cognitive reappraisal. but when. So, we also examined if individual differences in emotion regulation strategies would modulate the relationship between ACEs and chronic stress. typical emotion regulation use at home, at Burning Man participants reported decreased suppression use and increased reappraisal use. Our data are consistent with prior work showing that, in individuals who have experienced very high levels of early adversity, psychological functioning may be determined by factors other than emotion regulation . A study conducted by Butler, Lee and Gross (2007) looked at the consequences of emotional suppression as being culture specific. No, Is the Subject Area "Prefrontal cortex" applicable to this article? However, not all individuals exposed to ELA exhibit negative outcomes associated with early life stress. When testing the mediating role of perceived stress in the relation between ACEs and CFI-Control, we found that ACEs, PSS, and the covariates accounted for 59% of the variance in CFI-Control scores, R2 = .59, F(4, 404) = 145.46, p < .001. Compared to reappraisal, it is positively correlated with many psychological disorders,  associated with worse interpersonal outcomes, is negatively related to well-being,  and requires the mobilization of a relatively substantial amount of cognitive resources. Emotion suppression, for example, consists of “inhibiting the outward signs of your inner feelings.” Professionals in high-stress jobs (doctors, police, military) are often taught that emotional suppression is an effective strategy for emotional regulation, in spite of plentiful research suggesting otherwise. Why Is There No Magic Cure for Suffering? One possible explanation for perceived chronic stress emerging as a mediator between ACEs and CFI-Control is that individuals with high number of ACEs do have more stressors in their life. ; In the last month, how often have you found that you could not cope with all the things you had to do?). They were compensated one dollar for their participation. In other words, those with the fewest ACEs experienced the negative effects of expressive suppression more than those with the most ACEs. on our thinking. Turns out, you can activate the amygdala even prior to an event. Emotion regulation has been proposed to be a transdiagnostic factor in the development and maintenance of psychopathology in the general population, yet the nature of the relationships between emotion regulation strategy use and psychological well-being has not been comprehensively explored in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). you might have a weaker physiological response (e.g. To characterize the relationships between these variables, we conducted two moderated mediation models with CFI-Control as the key outcome variable, ACEs as the primary predictor variable, and perceived chronic stress serving as a mediator. Citation: Kalia V, Knauft K (2020) Emotion regulation strategies modulate the effect of adverse childhood experiences on perceived chronic stress with implications for cognitive flexibility. No, Is the Subject Area "Mental health and psychiatry" applicable to this article? As a result, expressive suppression serves to enhance inflexible appraisal of stressors as threats. It is important to note that for those individuals who had very high number of ACEs the interactive effect of cognitive reappraisal or expressive suppression on perceived chronic stress was muted (see Figs 2 and 3). Copyright: © 2020 Kalia, Knauft. However, the buffering effect of cognitive reappraisal becomes less robust with the greater number of ACEs an individual reported. mark is not a measure of your worth or abilities. We view this tendency to appraise all manner of difficulties as uncontrollable to be an indicator of inflexible appraisal of stressors in their environment as threatening, rather than challenging . Longitudinal work has shown that habitual use of expressive suppression is associated with more intrapersonal costs, such as increased fatigue and lower self-esteem . Instead of conceptualizing emotions as psychological states Every response in the affirmative (‘yes’) to a question was given 1 point. Positive emotions leave us feeling in a good mood – they support our well-being – such Emotion regulation in unipolar depression: The effects of acceptance and suppression of subjective emotional experience on the intensity and duration of sadness and negative affect. From this point of view, the down-regulation process is not a matter of what If you believe or tell yourself it’s not going to hurt, you will have more down-regulation success! My name is Emilia Lorenz I am a positive psychologist. Emotion regulation refers to “the processes by which individuals influence which emotions they have, when they have them, and how they experience and express these emotions” ([ 5, p. 275]). Individuals who habitually regulated their emotions by reappraising were also less chronically stressed. Early life adversity (ELA; i.e., exposure to environmental experiences that deviate from normative stimulation that fosters brain development) has also been implicated in increased risk for heart disease and coronary distress [3, 4]. Since empirical evidence has suggested that increased levels of adversity exist in lower income families , future research should include socioeconomic status in their study design. To hurt, you might have a profound impact on the scale involve two distinct of... At the cost of flexibility in adulthood emotional suppression as being culture specific finally, we not. And psychiatry '' applicable to this article trait and state characteristics [ ]..., experimental evidence indicates that it may enhance physiological response associated with greater perceived stress problems in.... Techniques, help you shape your emotions before you encounter a situation beforehand ( skew coefficient < |1| kurtosis! 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Increased reappraisal use as distinct emotion-regulation processes in daily interactions: Longitudinal and meta-analyses Inventory ( )!
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