Seeing the Silver Lining: Cognitive Reappraisal Ability Moderates the Relationship Between Stress and Depressive Symptoms

Department of Psychology, University of Denver, Denver, CO 80208, USA.
Emotion (Impact Factor: 3.88). 11/2010; 10(6):783-95. DOI: 10.1037/a0020262
Source: PubMed


Individuals differ in their adjustment to stressful life events, with some exhibiting impaired functioning, including depression, while others exhibit impressive resilience. The present study examined the hypothesis that the ability to deploy a particularly adaptive type of emotion regulation-cognitive reappraisal-may be a protective factor. It expands upon existing research in three ways. First, participants' ability to use reappraisal (cognitive reappraisal ability: CRA) was measured by using a behavioral challenge that assessed changes in experiential and physiological domains, rather than questionnaires. Second, all participants had been exposed to one or more recent stressful life events, a context in which emotion regulation may be particularly important. Third, a community sample of 78 women aged 20 to 60 was recruited, as opposed to undergraduates. Results indicate that, at low levels of stress, participants' CRA was not associated with depressive symptoms. However, at high levels of stress, women with high CRA exhibited less depressive symptoms than those with low CRA, suggesting that CRA may be an important moderator of the link between stress and depressive symptoms.

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Available from: Amanda J Shallcross, Oct 04, 2015
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    • "Research has shown that there are differences between healthy and mentally ill populations in non-musical cognitive affect regulation strategies for dealing with negative stimuli. Cognitive reappraisal, a process of reassessing a stimulus as being less negative than originally perceived, has been associated with decreased risk of depression (Troy et al., 2010). Effective cognitive reappraisal is associated with increased activation of prefrontal and striatal areas in females, but with decreased amygdala response in males, suggesting important gender differences in affect regulation in the brain (McRae et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Music therapists use guided affect regulation in the treatment of mood disorders. However, self-directed uses of music in affect regulation are not fully understood. Some uses of music may have negative effects on mental health, as can non-music regulation strategies, such as rumination. Psychological testing and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) were used explore music listening strategies in relation to mental health. Participants (n = 123) were assessed for depression, anxiety and Neuroticism, and uses of Music in Mood Regulation (MMR). Neural responses to music were measured in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in a subset of participants (n = 56). Discharge, using music to express negative emotions, related to increased anxiety and Neuroticism in all participants and particularly in males. Males high in Discharge showed decreased activity of mPFC during music listening compared with those using less Discharge. Females high in Diversion, using music to distract from negative emotions, showed more mPFC activity than females using less Diversion. These results suggest that the use of Discharge strategy can be associated with maladaptive patterns of emotional regulation, and may even have long-term negative effects on mental health. This finding has real-world applications in psychotherapy and particularly in clinical music therapy.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 08/2015; 9. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2015.00466 · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    • "The effectiveness of cognitive reappraisal for reducing negative emotion has been demonstrated across several indicators of negative emotion: self-reported negative emotion (Gross & John, 2003; Ochsner et al., 2002; Troy et al., 2010), central nervous system responses (e.g., decreased amygdala activation; Ochsner et al., 2002), and peripheral nervous system responses (e.g., decreased skin conductance level; McRae, Ciesielski, et al., 2012). Cognitive reappraisal has also been found to predict decreased depressive symptoms, particularly in stressful environments (Troy et al., 2010). Thus, for people whose genes and environment put them at risk (i.e., stressed individuals who carry a short allele in the 5-HTTLPR genotype), using cognitive reappraisal may be a useful strategy to offset this risk. "
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    ABSTRACT: Carrying a short allele in the serotonin transporter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) while experiencing stressful environments is linked to elevated risk for depression. What might offset this risky combination of genes and environment? We hypothesized that individual-level factors may play a protective role. Specifically, we examined whether individuals' ability to decrease their stress responses via effective emotion regulation may be an important moderating factor and addressed this hypothesis in a socioeconomically diverse sample of 205 children aged 9-15 years. At-risk children (short-allele carriers in high-stress contexts) exhibited more depressive symptoms than other groups. Importantly, at-risk children who used effective emotion regulation did not exhibit increased depressive symptoms. These results have important implications for the basic science of understanding risk and resilience: in addition to genes and environment, individuals' agentic ability to self-regulate may need to be considered as a critical third factor. Given that emotion regulation is learnable, these results also have strong public-health implications. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Emotion 05/2014; 14(5). DOI:10.1037/a0036835 · 3.88 Impact Factor
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    • "Un estudio meta-analítico (Aldao, Nolen-Hoeksema, y Schweizer, 2010) sugiere que la supresión, la evitación y la rumiación son estrategias desadaptativas por su asociación con patologías como trastornos depresivos, de ansiedad, alimenticios y de consumo de sustancias; mientras que la aceptación, la resolución de problemas y la revaluación serían estrategias adaptativas. Esta última, reduce la relación entre el alto estrés y la presentación de síntomas depresivos (Troy, Wilhelm, Shallcross, y Mauss, 2010), así como incrementa el sentimiento de bienestar (McRae et al., 2012). En un estudio reciente Giuliani, Drabant, y Gross (2011) utilizaron técnicas de volumetría cerebral para conocer posibles incrementos de tamaño de la zona dorsal anterior de la corteza cingulada (dACC) en sujetos con alto uso de revaluación, ya que diversas patologías (desordenes de ánimo o de ansiedad) se asocian a un bajo volumen. "
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    ABSTRACT: An experimental task of emotional regulation strategies reappraisal and suppression was performed by inducing disgust, amusement, and neutral emotion, by audiovisual stimuli. An inter-group design was used, being formed 3 groups (suppression, reappraisal, attention to the stimulus). Each group consisted of 18 female college students and ages 18 and 25. Were used as dependent measures, categorical and dimensional self-reports, and film recording of facial expressions. Executive-semantic tests (Verbal Fluency, Executive Control Semantic Emotional Task) processing is applied, and scales that assessed self-reported manner, the daily use of regulation strategies (ERQ), self-perceived emotional intelligence (TMMS) and trait anxiety (STAI-R). The results suggest independence between effective regulation skills, and self- perceived daily use of regulation strategies, as well as the perceived ability of emotional control. However, both self- reported use of regulation strategies (ERQ), as the ability to self-perceive emotional control (TMMS), are associated with lower trait anxiety. In addition, self-perceived emotional intelligence could be moderating performance in down-regulation to negative emotions. Finally, the ability for the reappraisal is associated with skills in executive semantic processing to a greater extent than the ability to suppress.
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