Habitual reappraisal in context: peer victimisation moderates its association with physiological reactivity to social stress

Citation:

Christensen, K. A., Aldao, A., Sheridan, M. A., & McLaughlin, K. A. (2017). Habitual reappraisal in context: peer victimisation moderates its association with physiological reactivity to social stress. Cognition & Emotion , 31 (2), 384โ€“394.
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Abstract:

Although the emotion regulation strategy of reappraisal has been associated with adaptive outcomes, there is a growing evidence that it may not be adaptive in all contexts. In the present study, adolescents reported their use of habitual reappraisal and their experiences with peer victimisation, a chronic stressor that is associated with reduced well-being in this population. We examined how these variables predicted physiological reactivity (vagal withdrawal and changes in pre-ejection period) during a social stressor (i.e., Trier Social Stress Task). In line with previous research, at high levels of victimisation, habitual reappraisal predicted adaptive physiological reactivity (i.e., greater vagal withdrawal). Conversely, at low levels of victimisation, habitual reappraisal predicted maladaptive physiological reactivity (i.e., blunted vagal withdrawal). These findings were specific to parasympathetic reactivity. They suggest that habitual reappraisal may exert different effects on parasympathetic reactivity depending on the presence of stressors, and highlight the importance of examining the role of contextual factors in determining the adaptiveness of emotion regulation strategies.

Last updated on 09/12/2018