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Title:An Individual Differences Approach to Emotion Regulation Using a Neuropsychological Model of Approach and Avoidance Temperament
Author(s):Koven, Nancy S.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Heller, Wendy
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Clinical
Abstract:In this research, the relationships between approach and avoidance temperament, patterns of anterior brain asymmetry, situational strategies (suppression and cognitive reappraisal) to regulate negative emotion, and the outcomes of these strategies on emotion processes were examined. Two studies were conducted. Study 1 (N = 318) represents a replication of Elliot's and Thrash's (2002) finding that approach and avoidance temperament are latent personality variables that capture shared variance across the constructs of extraversion, positive temperament, and behavioral activation and the constructs of neuroticism, negative temperament, and behavioral inhibition, respectively. In Study 2 (N = 141), emotional responses of approach and avoidance temperament individuals to a situational stressor were measured in the experiential domain through self-report, in the behavioral domain through facial affective coding, and in the neuroendocrine domain through assessment of salivary cortisol levels. Results showed an interaction between temperament type and type of emotion regulation strategy such that approach temperament individuals used reappraisal advantageously to reduce degree of emotional reactivity. Avoidance temperament participants were more adept in using suppression to achieve the same results. Neuropsychological testing was also conducted in Study 2 to determine if temperament type was related to patterns of anterior brain asymmetry. Results indicated that approach-biased participants outperformed avoidance-biased participants on left frontal lobe tests (Tower of London, Verbal Fluency Test, Digit Span Test) and, conversely, that avoidance-biased participants excelled on right frontal lobe tests (Continuous Performance Test, Ruff Figural Fluency Test, Spatial Span Test). An analysis of brain asymmetry bias, as reflected in differences in neuropsychological profiles, and the effects of emotion regulation instructions on emotional outcomes yielded mixed results. Finally, it was found that patterns of neuropsychological asymmetry did not mediate the relationships between temperament and emotional outcome for either temperament group. The importance of examining temperament type and patterns of anterior brain asymmetry as individual difference variables in the study of emotion regulation effectiveness is discussed. Clinical and theoretical applications for these findings are also highlighted.
Issue Date:2004
Description:104 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3130959
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2004

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