Article

Emotionships: Examining People’s Emotion-Regulation Relationships and Their Consequences for Well-Being

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Abstract

Is it better to have a few relationships that can fulfill all our emotion-regulation needs or to have a more diverse relationship portfolio, in which different individuals serve distinct emotion-regulation needs? The present research examined how people distribute their emotion-regulation needs across different emotion-specific regulation relationships (emotionships) and their consequences for well-being. Study 1 demonstrated the existence of emotionships by showing that individuals can name discrete relationships that they consider effective at regulating specific emotions (e.g., I turn to my sister to cheer me up when I’m sad) and that the accessibility and value of these relationships change as a function of manipulated emotional states. Studies 2a and 2b revealed that individuals who diversified their emotion-regulation needs across multiple specialized relationships (e.g., having distinct relationships for cheering up sadness vs. soothing anxiety) showed higher well-being than those with similar numbers of close relationships, but who concentrated their emotion-regulation needs in fewer, less specialized relationships.

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... For example, moving to a new city, a child's illness, or the financial strain from a job loss could seriously affect both spouses, leaving FINKEL ET AL. Figure 15. The link between the proportion of specialized emotionships (i.e., significant others who serve only one emotional support role) and global life satisfaction (adapted from Cheung et al., 2013). © Elaine Cheung. ...
... Research on social networks provides compelling evidence that people with a more diversified social network for helping them fulfill their higher altitude needs tend to experience greater psychological wellbeing than do people with a less diversified network. In particular, Americans with more diversified networks of significant others with whom they can share emotional experiences tend to experience better personal well-being (Cheung, Gardner, & Anderson, 2013). In this research, participants nominated up to four people they would seek out to help them regulate their emotions across seven different emotional domains (e.g., cheering up when sad, calming down when anxious). ...
... Consistent with the logic of the suffocation model, participants who had a more specialized emotion regulation portfolio-that is, who had a greater proportion of specialized emotionships out of the total number of emotionships listed across emotional domains-reported greater life satisfaction. As illustrated in Figure 15, the proportion of specialized emotionships predicted global life satisfaction, even after controlling for potentially confounding effects linked to loneliness, relationship quality, the breadth of emotional domains participants listed as receiving support from, the average number of individuals listed per emotion regulation domain, and the degree to which they felt regulation was mutual (Cheung et al., 2013). In short, it appears that having an array of social support specialists may be preferable to relying on a few generalists. ...
Article
Throughout American history, the fundamental purpose of marriage has shifted from (a) helping spouses meet their basic economic and political needs to (b) helping them meet their intimacy and passion needs to (c) helping them meet their autonomy and personal-growth needs. According to the suffocation model of marriage in America, these changes have had two major consequences for marital quality, one negative and one positive. The negative consequence is that, as Americans have increasingly looked to their marriage to help them meet idiosyncratic, self-expressive needs, the proportion of marriages that fall short of their expectations has grown, which has increased rates of marital dissatisfaction. The positive consequence is that those marriages that succeed in meeting these needs are particularly fulfilling, more so than the best marriages in earlier eras. In tandem, these two consequences have pushed marriage toward an all-or-nothing state.
... We further predict that individuals' variation along these two dimensions tracks their social and emotional well-being. This follows evidence that people report improved well-being when they draw upon supportive relationships and perceive social support favorably (Cheung, Gardner, & Anderson, 2015;Cohen, Sherrod, & Clark, 1986). ...
... This perspective is further supported by evidence that individuals selectively seek out help that advances their goals. For instance, people turn to different individuals to cope with particular emotions (Cheung et al., 2015). ...
... First, people with a high tendency to seek out IER may reap its benefits more often. This view is consistent with evidence that individuals report greater well-being when they manage their emotions through a diverse set of relationships (Cheung et al., 2015). Individuals who tend to approach their romantic partners, rather than avoid them, similarly report more positive emotional experience and greater relationship satisfaction (Impett et al., 2010). ...
Article
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People often recruit social resources to manage their emotions, a phenomenon known as interpersonal emotion regulation (IER). Despite its importance, IER’s psychological structure remains poorly understood. We propose that two key dimensions describe IER: (1) individuals’ tendency to pursue IER in response to emotional events, and (2) the efficacy with which they perceive IER improves their emotional lives. To probe these dimensions, we developed the Interpersonal Regulation Questionnaire (IRQ), a valid and reliable measure of individual differences in IER. Factor analyses of participants’ responses confirmed tendency and efficacy as independent dimensions of IER (Study 1; N = 285), and demonstrated independence between how individuals engage with IER in response to negative, versus positive, emotion. In Study 2 (N = 347), we found that individuals high in IER tendency and efficacy are more emotionally expressive, empathetic, and socially connected. Two subsequent studies highlighted behavioral consequences of IER dimensions: people high in IER tendency sought out others more often following experimentally-induced emotion (Study 3; N = 400), and individuals high in IER efficacy benefitted more from social support after real-world emotional events (Study 4; N = 787). Finally, a field study of social networks in freshman dormitories revealed that individuals high in IER tendency and efficacy developed more supportive relationships during the first year of college (Study 5; N = 193). These data (i) identify distinct dimensions underlying IER, (ii) demonstrate that these dimensions can be stably measured and separated from related constructs, and (iii) reveal their implications for relationships and well-being.
... It aims to regulate emotional reactions using the right strategies [21]. Emotion regulation skill plays a critical role in welfare and well-being of individuals [22]. It serves in mental health, interpersonal relationships, and academic achievement [16]. ...
... Considering the important role of emotions in determining health status and successful social functioning [19], and the prominent role of emotions in all mental and emotional disorders [22]. e.g. ...
... e.g. depression, anxiety, and interpersonal sensitivity [23], emotion regulation training can be an effective strategy to reduce the symptoms of depression [26], increase personal capability to D perform daily activities and enjoy life [15], and improve mental health in the affected individuals [22]. ...
... To address these gaps, the present study examined the relationships between ERS and depression, well-being in terms of utilization of interpersonal networks for emotion regulation. Cheung et al. (2015) have argued that people tend to utilize their interpersonal networks for emotion regulation, and that this affects their well-being, particularly when a specific other cannot be an interpersonal resource for emotion regulation. Individuals with a wide interpersonal network can regulate their own emotions through various other people, and Cheung et al. (2015) conceptualized these interpersonal network structures as "emotionships." ...
... Cheung et al. (2015) have argued that people tend to utilize their interpersonal networks for emotion regulation, and that this affects their well-being, particularly when a specific other cannot be an interpersonal resource for emotion regulation. Individuals with a wide interpersonal network can regulate their own emotions through various other people, and Cheung et al. (2015) conceptualized these interpersonal network structures as "emotionships." ...
... Emotionships are defined as "specific social relationships that people expect to maintain in order to satisfy their distinct emotion-regulation needs" (Cheung et al. 2015). Cheung et al. (2015) proposed that individuals maintain knowledge about the emotion-regulation capacities of various individuals in their social networks, and strategically utilize specific relationships to optimize their emotion regulation. ...
Article
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In the context of research on depression, previous studies have explained relationships between excessive-reassurance seeking and mental health from the perspective of interpersonal rejection by significant others. The present study examined the mechanisms underlying these relationships from the perspective of “emotionships”, which indicates the diversity of interpersonal networks for emotion regulation. We also examined how the most significant other’s interpersonal acceptance plays a role in processes that underlie the relationship between excessive-reassurance seeking and mental health as mediated through emotionships. 118 students completed three questionnaires. First, they completed measures of excessive-reassurance seeking, depression and well-being. Second, to assess emotionships, participants nominated individuals they seek in different emotion regulation scenarios. Third, participants selected the most significant other that they nominated previously and answered questions about this individual’s acceptance tendency. Moderated mediation analysis results indicated that in a case that the most significant other did not tend to accept others, those who engaged in excessive-reassurance seeking had fewer emotionships, and fewer emotionships predicted deterioration of well-being. In contrast, when the most significant other tended to accept others, these negative effects of ERS behavior on well-being via emotionships were not found. These findings suggest that maintaining interpersonal networks for emotion regulation and the most significant other’s interpersonal acceptance may be important for preventing deterioration of mental health among excessive-reassurance seekers.
... We propose that emotion regulation strategies afforded by relationship partners serve as IER (e.g., encouragement from a partner may reduce one's own anger). This notion is supported by findings that people seek out others to share their emotions (Gable et al., 2004;Rimé, 2009), and selectively turn to different relationship partners for different emotions (Cheung et al., 2015). ...
... Benefits of a repertoire of diverse emotion regulation relationships have been recently studied. Evidence suggests that people indeed selectively turn to specific individuals who they consider effective at regulating a particular emotiontermed emotionships (Cheung et al., 2015). In a study by Cheung et al. (2015), individuals were able to name discrete relationship partners for specific emotions (e.g., relationship partner effective at cheering up sadness vs. soothing anxiety) and drew closer to these nominated individuals when the specific emotion was activated. ...
... Evidence suggests that people indeed selectively turn to specific individuals who they consider effective at regulating a particular emotiontermed emotionships (Cheung et al., 2015). In a study by Cheung et al. (2015), individuals were able to name discrete relationship partners for specific emotions (e.g., relationship partner effective at cheering up sadness vs. soothing anxiety) and drew closer to these nominated individuals when the specific emotion was activated. Interestingly, greater well-being was reported when IER efforts were diversified across specialized social ties. ...
Article
Do people really fare better if they can rely on many social ties? Research suggests that benefits of interpersonal emotion regulation (ER) can be derived from both large and small social networks. Building on the intrapersonal regulatory flexibility model, we propose the emotion regulation repertoire of social support (ERROSS) model that views effective socioemotional support as the combination of network size and ER strategies, resulting in a repertoire of ER resources one can draw on. Best outcomes in mental health should follow from both a large network and a diverse repertoire of strategies. ERROSS is applied as an example in the context of bereavement, and specific contributions of the model are highlighted.
... Seekers might facilitate support by selecting providers who are empathically accurate (Winczewski et al., 2016), good at regulating emotions in desired ways (Cheung et al., 2015), have similar emotional responses to the seeker (Barasch, 2020), or have domain-relevant knowledge (Dirks & Metts, 2010). Seekers might also motivate support by selecting providers who are high in compassionate motivation (Winczewski et al., 2016) and/or support-related efficacy beliefs (e.g., people with high self-esteem; Jayamaha & Overall, 2019). ...
... Avoidantly (vs. more securely) attached people approach fewer partners for emotion regulation (Cheung et al., 2015) or instrumental support for severe issues (Armstrong & Kammrath, 2015). Men approach fewer potential providers than do women, particularly for severe or emotional issues (Armstrong & Kammrath, 2015). ...
... Limiting one's network of providers may be detrimental; people who try to have different emotion-regulation needs met by fewer (vs. many) providers experience lower well-being (Cheung et al., 2015). ...
Article
When people seek support in times of distress, receiving high‐quality support is critical to personal and relational well‐being. A rich body of work has examined support processes, but the role that support‐seekers play in eliciting support has received surprisingly limited attention. Yet, theory and research indicate that seekers’ behavior prior to and during support transactions shapes the support they receive. In the present paper, we summarize the literature on support‐seeking, describing how particular behaviors that seekers enact (deliberately or incidentally) affect their support receipt. We describe how each behavior facilitates (or hinders) providers’ ability to provide effective support and/or motivates (or demotivates) providers’ support provision efforts, and we consider why some people fail to enact certain support‐eliciting behaviors. Finally, we discuss the implications of our facilitate and motivate approach and identify important directions for future research. This work represents a promising springboard for examining a surprisingly underappreciated perspective in support transactions.
... Because a network of diverse (vs. homogeneous) support providers may be more capable of helping people deal with different needs in life (Cheung et al., 2015;Cohen & Janicki-Deverts, 2009;Granovetter, 1973), understanding and identifying the mechanisms that enable people to mobilize this kind of network is crucial. To this end, the present research draws on construal level theory Trope & Liberman, 2010) and its more recent regulatory scope extension , to shed light on the support seeking processes that involve psychologically proximal and distal others, as well as the implications of receiving different types of support from them. ...
... Complementing these perspectives is a growing body of work that suggests whom people approach for support may be closely tied to their needs in the moment. For instance, people turn to different individuals for different emotional needs (e.g.., turn to best friends to cheer up, turn to their mother to calm down; Cheung et al., 2015). When choosing whom to approach for support, people also consider whether the potential support provider has the skills and expertise to fulfill their needs (Small & Sukhu, 2016;Perry & Pescosolido, 2010). ...
... Thus, it is possible that people enjoy more satisfying relationships and support outcomes if they can utilize their network "properly" by modulating scope adaptively. This view is consistent with findings that people who diversify their emotion regulation needs (e.g., having distinct relationships for dealing with sadness vs. anxiety) experience higher well-being (Cheung et al., 2015). Similarly, research on social integration has shown that people who have diverse types of supportive relationships enjoy better mental and physical health (e.g., Cohen & Janicki-Deverts, 2009;Thoits, 2011). ...
Article
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From whom do people seek what type of support? Although people regularly seek support from close and distant others, little work has systematically investigated when and why people approach different people in their support network for different types of support. The present research introduces a novel distinction of social support and explores its relationship to the scope or range of support providers people would consider asking for support. Based on a recent extension of construal level theory (Trope et al., 2021), five experiments tested the bidirectional relation between levels of support and scope-the latter assessed by the social distance of potential support providers. Experiment 1 demonstrated that people can categorize supportive behaviors into low-level support (i.e., addressing the effect of a problem) and high-level support (i.e., addressing the cause of a problem). Experiments 2 and 4 showed that being prompted to seek low-level (vs. high-level) support-oriented people toward support providers who are socially proximal (vs. distal). In Experiment 3, thinking about interacting with a socially proximal (vs. distal) support provider led to a greater focus on receiving low-level (vs. high-level) support. Testing the implication of the link between levels of support and scope, Experiment 5 demonstrated that support recipients reported they would feel more gratitude when they imagined receiving low-level (vs. high-level) support from socially proximal (vs. distal) support providers. Broader implications for social support, interpersonal relationships, and construal level theory research are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
... Managers and emotional managers are often solicited for their help. Inviting another person to help with manage one's emotion is a conscious decision of the person needing help, and their selection of a person they believe can help them describes emotionship [16]. This support that is sought out by a particular person may be based on past experiences with the emotional manager or a belief that they possess a specialization that can help them [16]. ...
... Inviting another person to help with manage one's emotion is a conscious decision of the person needing help, and their selection of a person they believe can help them describes emotionship [16]. This support that is sought out by a particular person may be based on past experiences with the emotional manager or a belief that they possess a specialization that can help them [16]. Therefore, it is necessary for managers and supervisors in this scenario to pay attention and identify what the person's needs are and what the person desires their emotional state to be so that they can fulfill them. ...
Article
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This article responds to emerging research findings; forensic examiners are stressed in the workplace by their leaders who push them to improve performance to meet deadlines. Pushing employees causing them moderate stress was an acceptable practice to enhance performance while maintaining motivation. This is not true today! The same factors contributing to the stress of forensic examiners can decrease their stress, and this can be championed by managing employees' emotions. The skill and ability are critical for leaders to have, and these would assist leaders with effectively moving employees along the work continuum. In this opinion piece, I add to a lack of research regarding identification and to the understanding of the skills and abilities used during interpersonal regulation. I introduce the Emotion Regulation Skills-Abilities model (ERSA) developed, empirically grounded, and supported by current theoretical models. I demonstrate how focusing on developing supervisors' skills and abilities improve the workplace with practicing these skills. Leaders are the emotional architects who could positively assure a less stressful environment based on these efforts of being effective managers of other people's emotion.
... Recent efforts to clearly delineate frameworks of IER (Hofmann 2014;Niven et al. 2009;Zaki and Williams 2013) set the stage for more precise investigations in this area. Furthermore, the development of self-report measures of extrinsic (Niven et al. 2011) and intrinsic (Cheung et al. 2015) IER offer crucial tools to examine these processes. The complexity of the processes involved in IER have also challenged researchers to develop new innovative paradigms to map out their dyadic and iterative nature (Butler et al. 2013;Cheung et al. 2015). ...
... Furthermore, the development of self-report measures of extrinsic (Niven et al. 2011) and intrinsic (Cheung et al. 2015) IER offer crucial tools to examine these processes. The complexity of the processes involved in IER have also challenged researchers to develop new innovative paradigms to map out their dyadic and iterative nature (Butler et al. 2013;Cheung et al. 2015). ...
Article
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Recent attention has focused on the role of interpersonal emotion regulation (IER) in the development and maintenance of a range of forms of psychopathology, including anxiety, depression, and borderline personality disorder (BPD). Despite the relevance of IER in psychopathology, few measures exist to characterize patterns of maladaptive IER. Our aim was to (1) develop a measure of maladaptive IER, (2) begin to explore the factor structure of this new measure, the difficulties in interpersonal regulation of emotions (DIRE), and (3) examine its association with symptoms of psychopathology. In Study 1, 853 Mechanical Turk workers completed the DIRE and measures of psychopathology symptoms. We identified two factors each in the IER and intrapersonal emotion regulation scales. In Study 2, 142 undergraduate students completed the DIRE and daily measures of emotion regulation and coping for 14 days. Preliminary findings suggest that the DIRE has adequate internal consistency and construct and predictive validity. This measure has the potential to supplement future efforts in assessing IER in psychopathology.
... Participants were more likely to share with close than with non-close others, consistent with our hypotheses and social sharing of emotion research (Rimé, 2009). We introduced the concept of diversity of sharing partner network, which represents the extent to which participants utilize different types of relationships for IER, extending research examining a similar construct derived from self-reported nominations (i.e., emotionship; Cheung et al., 2015). Future research could explore the mechanisms through which a diverse sharing partner network may enhance one's ER skills. ...
... Furthermore, people do not always intend to regulate emotion when they share an emotional experience (e.g., informing/warning others; Duprez et al., 2015). Because we did not assess whether a negative experience had occurred, research is needed to examine the circumstances under which participants choose to engage in IER when facing negative experiences and the ways in which people strategically select social partners to advance their goals (Cheung et al., 2015). It may also be informative to examine the characteristics of shared emotional experiences, as they could shape IER. ...
Article
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People often turn to others for help with regulating their emotions, a process known as interpersonal emotion regulation (IER). Emerging research has begun to document the importance of IER in well-being. However, the basic elements of IER in daily life are still not clearly understood. We aimed to better understand the characteristics of adults' everyday IER. In this 2-week experience sampling study (five surveys daily), 87 adults (mean age = 45.5 years) reported on whether, from whom (i.e., sharing partner role type and gender), and why (i.e., IER goals) they sought IER. They also indicated which IER strategies their sharing partners used, including putatively supportive (i.e., reappraisal, problem solving, affection, encouraging sharing) and unsupportive (i.e., invalidation, blaming) strategies. Results showed that most people engaged in IER. Using multilevel modeling, we found that people tended to seek IER from close versus non-close others and were more likely to seek emotion-oriented (e.g., empathy) relative to problem-oriented goals (e.g., advice). Sharing partners were more likely to provide (a) supportive than unsupportive strategies, with reappraisal, problem solving, and affection being most frequently endorsed, and (b) problem-oriented supportive strategies (e.g., problem solving) than emotion-oriented supportive strategies (e.g., affection). We also explored gender and age differences in IER. This research contributes to the broader emotion regulation literature by elucidating everyday IER behaviors in adults. Findings highlight the ubiquity of IER as well as people's tendencies when seeking and providing IER. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s42761-021-00044-y.
... Garanzini et al. (2017), following eleven sessions of the Gottman method couples therapy for both gay male and lesbian couples, accessed two significant improvements in relationship satisfaction. Trust and intimacy are factors that affect the stability and instability of a marriage (Stemberg and Barnes 1985;Flanagan 1999;Bogaert and Sadava 2002;Marchese;Jeanfreau 2009;Touesnard 2009;Cheung et al. 2014). Tokuda et al. (2009) examined the relationship of trust in two vertical and horizontal levels with the health of individuals in Asia and concluded that younger, married, high-income and high-educated individuals enjoy high levels of trust in their personal and social relationships. ...
... The positive and significant correlations between the studied factors showed the convergent validity of the couples' trust assessment scale. These results are consistent with the results of Stemberg and Barnes (1985), Flanagan (1999), Bogaert and Sadava (2002), Jeanfreau (2009), Touesnard (2009 and Cheung et al. (2014). ...
Article
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Despite the efficacy and the recognition in the field of couple therapy, there is little in the literature that discusses the integration of couple therapy. The purpose of this study was estimating the validity and reliability of “Couple Trust Measurement” questionnaire, designed by John Gottman. The statistical population was all the married couples of Bojnourd, and the study sample was consisted of two groups of married men and women (278 and 308) who were selected by using cluster random sampling. To estimate the questionnaire validity, different methods were used; calculating the correlation of the score of each item with the total score, Cronbach’s alpha, and the split-half coefficient. To investigate the scale reliability, these methods were performed; exploratory factor analysis, principal components, confirmatory factor analysis, maximum likelihood. The convergent reliability was investigated by calculating the Pearson correlation between the couple’s trust measurement scale and the perceived relationship quality components inventory (PRQC) and Thompson and Walker’s marital intimacy scale 1983 (MIS). Multivariate analysis of variance was used to analyze the scale reliability based on the gender and the number of marital years. SPSS 17 and AMOS.20 software was used for statistical analysis. The results showed that “Couple Trust Measurement” questionnaire has high reliability and validity, thus it can be used as reliable and valid tools to measure the couple trust in Iran.
... A great deal of research on the self has demonstrated that individuals oftentimes rely on social partners from their broader social networks for fulfilling different self-motives, including: buffering against esteem threats (e.g., Kumashiro & Sedikides, 2005), confirming selfviews (e.g., Swann & Pelham, 2002;Swann, Pelham, & Krull, 1989), and stabilizing self-views after identity threat (Slotter & Gardner, 2014;Wicklund & Gollwitzer, 1982). Moreover, recent research in the domain of emotion regulation has demonstrated that individuals tend to maintain a set of relationships for serving specific emotion regulation functions (e.g., I turn to my sister to cheer up sadness, I turn to my roommate to calm down anger), and will strategically navigate their social networks in a manner that optimizes emotion regulation (Cheung, Gardner, & Anderson, 2015). This research has found that people experience higher well-being to the extent that they diversify their emotion regulation needs across multiple specialized relationships (e.g., having distinct relationships for cheering sadness vs. soothing anxiety) rather than concentrating their emotion regulation needs on one or two close relationships (e.g., turning to their romantic partner for all emotional needs). ...
... In the present investigation, we sought to integrate the research on Michelangelo phenomenon (drigotas et al., 1999; rusbult et al., 2005) with the research on the strategic navigation of social networks for fulfilling self motives (e.g., Kumashiro & Sedikides, 2005;Swann, Pelham, & Krull, 1989;Wicklund & Gollwitzer, 1982) and emotion regulation needs (Cheung, Gardner, & Anderson, 2015) to examine how individuals' broader social networks influence their pursuit of ideal self goals. In particular, we were interested in examining what factors promote movement toward vs. away from the individual's ideal self when seeking out support from social partners. ...
Article
The present investigation examined how people utilize their social networks when pursuing the ideal self. Participants who spent time with social partners who possessed their desired ideal self characteristic experienced movement toward their ideal self when the partner provided behavioral affirmation (eliciting behaviors consistent with the ideal self), but experienced movement away from their ideal self when the partner provided perceptual affirmation (perceiving them as if they already possessed the desired characteristic). High self-esteem participants were especially likely to seek out social partners of the latter type, who saw them as their ideal selves, but did not offer behavioral assistance. This research highlights the importance of social networks for understanding the conditions in which social partners promote vs. hinder ideal self progress.
... There may also be times when capitalizers share good news without expecting a response (e.g., informing employees about a company's booming business, posting good news on social media, or sending a birth announcement to loved ones). Even without a responder, examples such as these illustrate that the act of capitalizing may nevertheless enhance the perceived value of relationships to capitalizers (Cheung, Gardner, & Anderson, 2015). ...
... How do people know with whom to capitalize and under what circumstances? Recent evidence suggests that people can identify specific individuals who help them regulate particular emotions-that is, when individuals experience par- ticular emotions, such as sadness or anxiety, the names of individuals who help them regulate that specific emotion come to mind more easily ( Cheung et al., 2015). This specificity may apply to capitalizing on good news, although it is unclear which attributes help to identify partners more likely to be preferred when good news is salient-for example, is one's relationship with the potential responder or his/her anticipated response more influential? ...
Article
When good things happen, individuals will often retell this good news to others, a process termed capitalization. In so doing, individuals sharing their good news (i.e., capitalizers) boost their mood and relationships with the person(s) to whom they retell their news (i.e., responders). Most extant research has focused on the benefits for the capitalizers. Capitalization, however, is a social process that affects both capitalizers and responders, and research has only begun to explore the benefits of capitalization for responders. In this article, we provide a fresh perspective on the state of this literature by proposing the interpersonal model of capitalization (InterCAP). We illustrate how InterCAP (a) integrates and organizes existing research and theory, (b) formally emphasizes the interpersonal and iterative nature of the capitalization process, and (c) identifies gaps in current knowledge. We conclude by offering recommendations for integrating InterCAP with other theoretical models and suggestions for future research.
... Another way of investigating this question is to examine the number of support providers to which people turn and how often they turn to each helper. Research has demonstrated that it is useful to have social networks composed of a diverse array of people who serve different types of goals (Cheung, Gardner, Anderson, 2015;Cohen & Janicki-Deverts, 2009). In that way, people can turn to different people for different issues, maximizing the skills of the people in their social networks. ...
... In addition to helping a person be productive, others can help a person feel good. For example, research has found that having a social network composed of people who meet specific emotion regulation needs is associated with well-being (Cheung et al., 2015). The well-known link between perceived support and experience of positive affect may potentially be explained by the perceived instrumentality of the relationship partner. ...
... Whether social support leads to beneficial , maladaptive, or benign outcomes—including effects of support on cognition and affect— depends largely on relational features (Lakey & Tanner, 2013; see Lakey & Orehek, 2011, for a review). In different emotional states, people turn to different supporters (Cheung, Gardner, & Anderson, 2015), and evidence that hand-holding attenuates responses to negative stimuli also shows that effects are stronger depending on closeness of the other (spouse vs. stranger; Coan et al., 2006), marital quality between spouses (Coan et al., 2006), and the individual's own desire for closeness (Flores & Berenbaum, 2012). Although intimate relationships have a positive effect on mental health on average (Dush & Amato, 2005; Kim & McKenry, 2002), variation in relational characteristics relevant to social support appears in both healthy and depressed populations (Lakey, 2010; Lakey, Drew, & Sirl, 1999). ...
... Relatedly, although romantic relationships are primary sources of social support for many people, they are only one of many relationship types that we suspect influence ER. Different social connections in one's life can serve different social ER needs, and a " diverse portfolio " of supporters may be especially beneficial (Cheung et al., 2015). Even as our research supports prospective social effects on ER and depression, it is important to note that intrapersonal processes also affect relational outcomes over time. ...
Article
Depression is associated with social dysfunction and maladaptive social environments, but mechanisms through which social relationships affect depressive psychopathology are unclear. We hypothesized that emotion regulation (ER) is such a mechanism, with outcomes of individuals' ER efforts sensitive to the social context, and individuals' ER strategy repertoire and use sensitive to social influence. In Study 1, a longitudinal study of community adults (N = 1,319), associations of individuals' ER strategies with depressive symptoms depended on social connectedness and romantic relationship status (social context hypothesis). Moreover, associations of social connectedness and relationship status with symptoms were accounted for by maladaptive ER concurrently and, for social connectedness, prospectively over 1 year (social influence hypothesis). Study 2a, using a national sample (N = 772), replicated and extended these findings with a broader array of ER strategies, and ruled out alternative explanations regarding social skills and psychological wellbeing. Among participants in romantic relationships (Study 2b; N = 558), intimacy and trust buffered associations of maladaptive ER strategies with symptoms (context), and maladaptive and adaptive ER mediated links between relationship variables and symptoms (influence). Findings suggest that close relationships-and variation in underlying relational processes within relationships-influence the ER strategies people use, and also affect whether individuals' own ER repertoires contribute to depression when deployed. Results elucidate core social mechanisms of ER in terms of both basic processes and depressive psychopathology, suggest ER is a channel through which social factors affect internal functioning and mental health, and inform relationship pathways for clinical intervention. (PsycINFO Database Record
... The aim of emotional regulation is to regulate people's emotions with the employment of effective strategies (Hal-perin, 2013). Being able to regulate emotions exerts a big influence on one's well-being (Cheung, Gardner, & Anderson, 2015) and leads to appropriate mental health, interpersonal relationships, and desirable educational performance (Gross & John, 2003). Furthermore, difficulties in emotional regulation can cause problems such as mental disorder, depression, and anxiety (Shepherd & Wild, 2014). ...
... In a similar vein, people who have a number of distinct relationships for different emotional needs (e.g., one person for cheering up sadness, another for soothing anxiety) have higher well-being (Cheung, Gardner, & Anderson, 2015). These studies asked participants to list people they sought out for emotion regulation purposes, but this may be different from whom they actually receive support; on a daily basis that may be individuals who are convenient but not necessarily responsive. ...
Article
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Delivering responsive support to others is challenging. We hypothesize that this challenge is especially great when support recipients are overly pessimistic and resistant to others’ attempts to regulate their mood, as is the case with low self-esteem people (LSEs). Across four studies, we show that LSE recipients perceive support as less responsive than high self-esteem (HSE) recipients do both on a daily basis (Study 1), and for past events (Study 2). Providers confirm that they tend to give less responsive support to LSEs even when they perceive them to be equally distressed as HSEs (Study 3), and that they find it more difficult to support a hypothetical LSE person than a HSE person in the same circumstances (Study 4).
... However, communities contain multiple networks that are defined by different types of relationships. Individuals might ask for advice from one subset of their community, look for companionship with another subset, and seek emotional support from a third subset (12)(13)(14)(15). This means that an individual could occupy a central role in one type of network, but hold a more peripheral position in a different type of network (2). ...
Article
Individuals benefit from occupying central roles in social networks, but little is known about the psychological traits that predict centrality. Across four college freshman dorms (n = 193), we characterized individuals with a battery of personality questionnaires and also asked them to nominate dorm members with whom they had different types of relationships. This revealed several social networks within dorm communities with differing characteristics. In particular, additional data showed that networks varied in the degree to which nominations depend on (i) trust and (ii) shared fun and excitement. Networks more dependent upon trust were further defined by fewer connections than those more dependent on fun. Crucially, network and personality features interacted to predict individuals’ centrality: people high in well-being (i.e., life satisfaction and positive emotion) were central to networks characterized by fun, whereas people high in empathy were central to networks characterized by trust. Together, these findings provide network-based corroboration of psychological evidence that well-being is socially attractive, whereas empathy supports close relationships. More broadly, these data highlight how an individual’s personality relates to the roles that they play in sustaining their community.
... One person cannot serve all goals held by a partner. Thus, constructing a social network of individuals who combine to serve one's needs is ideal (Cheung, Gardner, & Anderson, 2015). If one has friends with whom to relax and discuss preferred topics, then one's spouse need not serve as a means to those goals. ...
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Goal pursuit is almost always conducted in concert with helpful others. People serve as instrumental means to goals, and evaluations of people are shaped by their perceived instrumentality. Assistance from another person may elicit feelings of relationship satisfaction and commitment. Assisting others in their goal pursuit is also gratifying. We present a novel goal-systemic perspective on close relationships. Our analysis suggests that satisfying relationships are achieved when partners experience mutual perceived instrumentality—when each partner feels instrumental to his or her partner’s important goals and perceives the partner as instrumental to his or her important goals. Considering relationship partners as means to goals has important implications for relationship processes including attraction, relationship maintenance, and relationship dissolution.
... single) primary attachment figures was associated with adolescents' better adjustments, particularly when dealing with internalizing problems. Our findings were also consistent with a previous study, which found that adults who used diverse figures for their emotion regulation had higher well-being compared to those who considered only particular people (Cheung, Gardner, & Anderson, 2015). Again, using the cognitive development approach, those who ordered their attachment figures in a more strictly hierarchical manner may be cognitively demanding and emotionally stressed to keep this strict order. ...
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Using 212 adolescents from a central-European country (mean age = 14.02, SD = 2.05, ranged from 11 to 18 years; females = 54%) and a multi-informant method to measure adolescents’ behavioral and emotional adjustments, the present study explored three aspects regarding the attachment hierarchy. (1) The three types of behavioral systems of Rosenthal and Kobak’s important people interview (IPI) were initially validated using an exploratory factor analysis with a US sample. Using a confirmatory factor analysis with a Czech sample, we replicated these three behavioral systems: attachment bond, support seeking, and affiliation. (2) We found that adolescents who developed attachment bond to multiple primary attachment figures were likely to score lower on both teacher-rated and parent-rated internalizing problems compared to those who had a single primary attachment figure. These multiple primary attachment figures tended to be family members (not peers). (3) Early adolescents who placed parents low in their attachment hierarchy scored higher on self-reported negative affect and lower on self-reported positive affect compared to early adolescents who placed parents high. The present study highlights multiple (vs. single) primary attachment figures as a protective factor and the premature reorganization of attachment hierarchy as a risk factor for adolescents’ emotional and affective adjustments.
... Lyubomirsky et al., 2005;Margolis et al., 2021). Additional research suggests that people with a diverse portfolio of emotionships-specific social relationships that serve distinct emotion-regulation needs (e.g., cheering up sadness, soothing anxiety)-have higher well-being (Cheung et al., 2015). People's strongest social contacts consist of romantic relationships, family relationships, and friendships (Kaufman et al., 2022b). ...
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Singles are an understudied yet growing segment of the adult population. The current study aims to expand the lens of relationship science by examining the well-being of unpartnered, single adults using latent profile analysis. We recruited singles ( N = 4,835) closely matched to the United States census (ages 18-65; 57.5% female; 71.1% White; 14.5% Black; 13.8% Hispanic) for an exploratory cross-sectional survey using five variables that strongly predict well-being (friendship satisfaction, family satisfaction, self-esteem, neuroticism, and extraversion). All five variables significantly predicted life satisfaction for the full sample. Latent profile analyses detected 10 groups (or profiles) of singles. Half of the profiles were happy (above the full sample mean of life satisfaction) and half of the profiles were unhappy (below the mean). Each profile had its own unique patterns relating to personal relationships, self-esteem, and personality traits. The happiest profile had the best relationships, self-esteem, and personality, while the unhappiest profile had the worst relationships, self-esteem, and personality. The profiles in between these two extremes had more nuanced patterns. For example, one relatively happy profile in the middle had high friendship satisfaction but low family satisfaction, while an adjacent profile showed the opposite pattern. Overall, singles who had positive relationships—both with themselves and others—were happiest.
... Indeed, people tend to have multiple relationships to meet different emotion-regulation needs (E. O. Cheung et al., 2015), and it is often unrealistic for a romantic partner to fulfill all needs (Finkel et al., 2014). Therefore, it would be useful to merge relationship theories with other lifespan theories and consider diverse relationship experiences to better understand the single people's wellbeing. ...
Article
Despite constituting a large portion of society, single people—and their satisfaction with singlehood and life—are rarely examined in their own right. How happy are single people and does their happiness change over time? In 3,439 people followed over 10 years, we found that people reported being more satisfied than not, but both singlehood satisfaction and life satisfaction declined over time. Older adults, men, and highly educated people, and people with worse health reported lower singlehood satisfaction. Constrained random-intercept cross-lagged panel models suggested that singlehood and life satisfaction had lagged bidirectional influences with each other. Results are discussed in the context of the origins of singlehood satisfaction and life satisfaction.
... Emotion-regulatory behaviors that have been frequently and recently practiced should be easier to initiate (Ghafur et al., 2018). People can also decrease effort in emotion regulation by using extrinsic forms of emotion regulation-for instance by turning to close others for help (e.g., Cheung, Gardner, & Anderson, 2015;Coan, 2011;W. C. Williams, Morelli, Ong, & Zaki, 2018). ...
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Emotion regulation is important for psychological well-being, yet we know relatively little about why, when, and how hard people try to regulate emotions. This article seeks to address these motivational issues by considering effortful emotion regulation as a unique form of cybernetic control. In any domain of self-regulation, emotions serve as indices of progress in regulation and inform the expected value of regulation. In emotion regulation, however, emotions also serve as the very target of regulation. This interdependence gives rise to ironic processes that may render people less likely to exert effort in emotion regulation, precisely when they need it most. The proposed analysis complements and extends existing theories of emotion regulation, sheds new light on available findings, carries implications for psychopathology and well-being, and points to new hypotheses that could lead to theoretical and applied advances in the field.
... Stress and coping theories indicate that threat perception leads people to use coping strategies, regulate their emotions (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984), and turn to their partners for safety and protection. Turning to a romantic partner in times of emotional need increases positive emotional experience and relationship satisfaction (Cheung et al., 2015). ...
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Background The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our interpersonal relationships drastically. However, few research studies have examined pandemic-induced stress and its impact on relationship quality. The current research aimed to examine COVID-19 related stress and anxiety in relation to relationship satisfaction, well-being (i.e., positive affect and life satisfaction), and interpersonal emotion regulation strategies (i.e., perspective-taking, enhancing positive affect, social modeling, and soothing), to understand the effects of pandemic-induced stress on both an individual and a relational well-being. The moderating effect of interpersonal emotion regulation strategies toward COVID-19 related stress was also examined. Methods The sample consisted of 877 married Turkish adults (Nfemale = 613, Mage = 35.00; Nmale = 264, Mage = 39.21). Data were analyzed with structural equation modeling, and moderation effects were tested. Results As hypothesized, structural equation modeling revealed that greater COVID-19 related stress was associated with lower well-being, and that this relationship was mediated by relationship satisfaction. Findings indicated that IER strategy of increasing positive emotions was associated with greater relationship satisfaction and well-being. Unexpectedly, interpersonal emotion regulation strategies moderated neither the relationship between COVID-19 related stress and relationship satisfaction nor the relationship between COVID-19 stress and well-being. Conclusions Our findings support the vulnerability-stress-adaptation framework and draw attention to the importance of examining the effects of COVID-19 stress and relationship satisfaction.
... Emerging adulthood is a critical period for social-emotional development during which young people become more independent from their parents and form intimate relationships with their friends and romantic partners (Furman and Buhrmester 1992). Being able to regulate one's emotions in these newly formed relationships as well as being able to reach out to different people to meet their emotion regulation needs is particularly crucial for emerging adults' psychosocial adjustment (Cheung et al. 2015;Hofmann and Doan 2018). ...
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Background Effective emotion regulation is central to emerging adults’ positive psychosocial adjustment. Research has focused largely on intrapersonal emotion regulation processes (i.e., individuals’ tendencies to regulate their emotions on their own). Consequently, there is limited understanding of interpersonal emotion regulation (IER), which emphasizes how individuals use social interactions to regulate their emotions, and its associations with adaptive and maladaptive psychosocial adjustment outcomes. The objective of this study was to explore the associations between IER strategies and psychosocial adjustment outcomes among emerging adults.Methods Emerging adults (N = 790) completed an online questionnaire on their IER strategy use, internalizing symptoms, well-being, and relationship quality.ResultsStructural equation modeling results indicated that greater engagement in enhancing positive affect and perspective taking was significantly associated with lower internalizing symptoms and greater well-being. Perspective taking was also significantly associated with higher relationship quality. Greater engagement in soothing was significantly associated with higher internalizing symptoms and lower well-being. Greater engagement in social modelling was only significantly associated with higher internalizing symptoms.Conclusions The findings contribute to research by examining IER in emerging adulthood and broadening our understanding of the IER strategies that are important for psychosocial adjustment.
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Disconnection from one’s social network has detrimental links to physical health outcomes, and there has been increased interest in treating social disconnection as a public health issue. Two perspectives guide much of the research on social networks, social disconnection, and physical health. One perspective emphasizes the quality of social ties over the quantity of social ties, whereas the other emphasizes quantity over quality. In this article, we discuss the importance of combining these perspectives to promote forming networks consisting of a few close relationships in addition to some peripheral ties to effectively combat social disconnection and maintain and promote better health. We also highlight important avenues for future research, including identifying critical moderators (e.g., age, culture) and using social network interventions to address issues of causality.
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Social bonds have a profound effect on health and well-being. It is clear that people have a fundamental need to form and maintain social bonds, but interpersonal relationships present potential threats as well as potential incentives. In this article, I review a model of approach and avoidance social motivation ( Gable, 2006 ) that accounts for people's tendencies to both approach the incentives and avoid the threats in their social worlds. I also review research that has tested different aspects of the model including the consequences of approach and avoidance social motivation, mediators that link motivation to these outcomes, and moderators of these processes. The article concludes by examining gaps that persist in the literature.
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The quality of individuals’ social relationships consistently predicts greater well-being. But little is known about the relative importance of different relationship types for life satisfaction, including the relative importance of friendships compared to other types of relationships. Some have theorized that one intimate relationship is all you need. However, romantic partners, family, and friends may contribute uniquely or interactively to well-being. The current study assessed life satisfaction and relationship satisfaction in survey data collected from a large, diverse sample of respondents. Satisfaction with each type of relationship was significantly and independently associated with life satisfaction, over and above other variables in the model. Friendship (not family) interacted with intimate relationships: when respondents were highly satisfied with their intimate relationships, they were happy with their lives regardless of friendship quality. But when they were unhappy with their intimate relationships, they were only happy with their lives if they had good friends.
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The current study aims to investigate the parallel multiple mediation role of emotion regulation strategies in the relationship between adolescents’ loneliness and their positivity. Participants consisted of a total of 300 high school students (F= 146, 48.7%; M= 154, 51.3%) who attended to a high schools in Adıyaman during 2014-2015 academic years. The participating students were 14-19 year-old with a mean age of 15.51 (SD= 1.09). Data were collected through the Short-Form of UCLA Loneliness Scale, Emotion Regulation Scale for Adolescents, Positivity Scale, and the Personal Information Form. Descriptive statistics and Pearson correlation coefficient were used in the analysis of research data. The mediation effect of model tested in the research was examined for statistical significance with an approach based on Ordinary Least Squares Regression and Bootstrap Method. The research findings showed that the mediation role of internalfunctional emotion regulation, internal-dysfunctional emotion regulation, and external-functional emotion regulation in the relationship between adolescents’ loneliness and positivity was statistically significant. The mediation role of externaldysfunctional emotion regulation, on the other hand, was not found to be statistically significant. Findings were discussed within the relevant literature, and suggestions for researchers were put forward.
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The article considers how Joanna Baillie’s concept of “sympathetick curiosity” informs contemporary discussions about emotion regulation. By focusing on Baillie’s De Monfort (1798) and Orra (1812), the article argues that regulatory flexibility is a learned skill that can be improved by actively engaging sympathetic curiosity. Baillie insisted that her plays had pedagogical value and that having audiences watch them would help them learn how to avoid the destructive nature of the passions. Working with Bonanno and Burton’s (2013) model of regulatory flexibility, the article demonstrates the importance not just of inherent differences in emotion regulation but also of learning opportunities individuals engage to develop it. In particular, the article presents a model of how people learn through narrative simulation, drawing on the work of Romantic writers and current critics as well as cognitive psychologists and neuropsychologists. Consideration is then given to how watching protagonists’ manifestations of and responses to an unfolding passion helps audiences learn to develop their regulatory flexibility.
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People often experience change within their romantic relationships, and the ways that they understand themselves can be critical within this context. This chapter examines the bidirectional links between self-concept clarity, people’s subjective sense of understanding who they are, and self-concept change within relationships. We review the literature on self-concept clarity and self-change across the life span of a romantic relationship, from initial attraction to ongoing relationships to relationship dissolution. Within each of these stages, we consider how (a) self-concept clarity predicts self-change and (b) how self-change predicts self-concept clarity. The literature on self-concept clarity predicting self-change suggests that people with low self-concept clarity resist changing in their relationships and attempt to stop their partners from changing as well. Work on self-change predicting self-concept clarity tends to find that positive changes in relationships promote higher self-concept clarity and that negative changes (especially breakup) tend to undermine it. However, this effect depends on several key moderators, including attachment anxiety, self-change in the previous relationship, and self-change after breakup. Throughout, we examine how the interplay between self-concept clarity and self-change shapes well-being, for individuals and for their relationships. We end by focusing on promising areas for future research at each relationship stage—relationship formation, ongoing relationships, and relationship dissolution.
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Shortly before my wife, Lara, gave birth to our first child, we went through a parental rite of passage: baby boot camp. For a full day, we sat in an auditorium with other (mostly) excited soon-to-be parents, listening intently to experts teach us how to change diapers, warm bottles, and swaddle babies. Shortly before the session ended, the speaker turned to the topic of managing our emotions and the chatter in our heads. The first few months of parenthood will have lows, not just highs, the instructor cautioned. One piece of advice she offered for dealing with these difficulties? Vent. Reach out to your spouse or a friend, she said, and release your feelings.
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We examined the extent to which children’s emotion-sharing relationships were unique from friendships. We also examined the association between emotional experience and emotion sharing as well as the association between emotion sharing and prosocial behavior. Participants were 456 children ( M age = 10.6 years) from the Midwestern United States. Peer nominations and self-report were used to assess study constructs. Despite considerable convergence between friendships and emotion-sharing relationships, children did not share emotions with 31% of close friends and 20% of emotion-sharing partners were not close friends, indicating divergence of the two relationships. Experience of happiness was positively associated with emotion sharing; emotion sharing was positively associated with prosocial behavior. Compared with boys, girls identified more partners and more same-gender peers for emotion-sharing relationships and they shared feelings with friends to a greater extent. We discussed emotion sharing as a compelling means for the development of children’s affective and social competence.
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Theories of aging suggest that close social connections are key determinants of maintained emotional well‐being across adulthood. However, most emotion regulation (ER) research has taken an intrapsychic perspective, focusing primarily on individuals' attempts to manage their own emotions in isolation from others. In this article, we present a relational perspective on ER and suggest that consideration of social factors can provide novel insight into how ER operates and changes throughout the adult lifespan. We describe theoretical perspectives of aging and ER, review the mixed evidence regarding the characterization of age‐related shifts in ER, and highlight relational features of ER goals, strategy selection, and success of implementation. We conclude with a discussion of directions for future research examining ER throughout adulthood from a relational perspective, advocating for the comparison of intrapersonal and interpersonal ER in ecologically valid and longitudinal contexts.
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As people form social groups, they benefit from being able to detect socially valuable community members-individuals who act prosocially, support others, and form strong relationships. Multidisciplinary evidence demonstrates that people indeed track others' social value, but the mechanisms through which such detection occurs remain unclear. Here, we combine social network and neuroimaging analyses to examine this process. We mapped social networks in two freshman dormitories (n = 97), identifying how often individuals were nominated as socially valuable (i.e., sources of friendship, empathy, and support) by their peers. Next, we scanned a subset of dorm members ("perceivers"; n = 50) as they passively viewed photos of their dormmates ("targets"). Perceiver brain activity in regions associated with mentalizing and value computation differentiated between highly valued targets and other community members but did not differentiate between targets with middle versus low levels of social value. Cross-validation analysis revealed that brain activity from novel perceivers could be used to accurately predict whether targets viewed by those perceivers were high in social value or not. These results held even after controlling for perceivers' own ratings of closeness to targets, and even though perceivers were not directed to focus on targets' social value. Overall, these findings demonstrate that individuals spontaneously monitor people identified as sources of strong connection in the broader community.
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When selecting among potential supporters, goal pursuers prefer close over distant friends. Using the transactive goal dynamics perspective, we proposed that such preference is partially motivated by concerns for accessibility. Indeed, one correlational study (Study 1) showed that goal pursuers selected close friends partly because they were more accessible. Three additional experiments asked participants to seek support by calling either a close or a distant friend. In this setup, the close friend’s support was either as helpful as (Study 2) or less helpful than the distant friend’s (Studies 3a and 3b). In these situations, we still observed a general preference for close friends, but this preference was reduced (a) when the difficulty of reaching the close friend was elevated (Study 2) and (b) when they could resort to the nonchosen friend if necessary (Studies 3a and 3b). How concerns for accessibility influence the use of social networks will be discussed..
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This article distills insights from historical, sociological, and psychological perspectives on marriage to develop the suffocation model of marriage in America. According to this model, contemporary Americans are asking their marriage to help them fulfill different sets of goals than in the past. Whereas they ask their marriage to help them fulfill their physiological and safety needs much less than in the past, they ask it to help them fulfill their esteem and self-actualization needs much more than in the past. Asking the marriage to help them fulfill the latter, higher level needs typically requires sufficient investment of time and psychological resources to ensure that the two spouses develop a deep bond and profound insight into each other's essential qualities. Although some spouses are investing sufficient resources-and reaping the marital and psychological benefits of doing so-most are not. Indeed, they are, on average, investing less than in the past. As a result, mean levels of marital quality and personal well-being are declining over time. According to the suffocation model, spouses who are struggling with an imbalance between what they are asking from their marriage and what they are investing in it have several promising options for corrective action: intervening to optimize their available resources, increasing their investment of resources in the marriage, and asking less of the marriage in terms of facilitating the fulfillment of spouses' higher needs. Discussion explores the implications of the suffocation model for understanding dating and courtship, sociodemographic variation, and marriage beyond American's borders.
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This review demonstrates that an individualist view of emotion and regulation is untenable. First, I question the plausibility of a developmental shift away from social interdependency in emotion regulation. Second, I show that there are multiple reasons for emotional experiences in adults to elicit a process of social sharing of emotion, and I review the supporting evidence. Third, I look at effects that emotion sharing entails at the interpersonal and at the collective levels. Fourth, I examine the contribution of emotional sharing to emotion regulation together with the relevant empirical evidence. Finally, the various functions that the social sharing of emotion fulfills are reviewed and the relevance of the social sharing of emotion for emotion scientists is discussed.
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Whether or not close emotional relationships with parents and peers serve similar functions for adolescent adjustment is an issue of increasing interest. The present study was designed to examine the relations between parent and peer attachment and adolescent adjustment. Eighty-nine adolescents (M age = 16.1 years, SD = 1.8 years) completed self-report measures of parent and peer attachment, sympathy, academic efficacy, aggression, anxiety, and depression. Adolescents were divided into four groups on the basis of their parent and peer attachment scores: those high on both, those low on both, those high on peer but low on parent attachment, and those high on parent but low on peer attachment. Discriminant function analyses revealed that the groups differed only along one dimension, suggesting that parent and peer attachment served similar functions in terms of the adjustment indices measured. Adolescents high on both peer and parent attachment were the best adjusted (i.e., least aggressive and depressed, most sympathetic) and those low on both were the least well adjusted. Furthermore, those high on peer but low on parent attachment were better adjusted than those high on parent but low on peer attachment, suggesting that peer attachment may be relatively more influential on adolescent adjustment than parent attachment.
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Most research on adult attachment is based on the assumption that working models are relatively general and trait-like. Recent research, however, suggests that people develop attachment representations that are relationship-specific, leading people to hold distinct working models in different relationships. The authors report a measure, the Relationship Structures questionnaire of the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised (ECR-RS; R. C. Fraley, N. G. Waller, & K. A. Brennan, 2000), that is designed to assess attachment dimensions in multiple contexts. Based on a sample of over 21,000 individuals studied online, it is shown that ECR-RS scores are reliable and have a structure similar to those produced by other measures. In Study 2 (N = 388), it is shown that relationship-specific measures of attachment generally predict intra- and interpersonal outcomes better than broader attachment measures but that broader measures predict personality traits better than relationship-specific measures. Moreover, it is demonstrated that differentiation in working models is not related to psychological outcomes independently of mean levels of security.
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An extensive network of empirical relations has been identified in research on the psychological construct of self-monitoring. Nevertheless, in recent years some concerns have been expressed about the instrument used for the assessment of self-monitoring propensities, the Self-Monitoring Scale. Both the extent to which the measure taps an interpretable and meaningful causal variable and the extent to which the self-monitoring construct provides an appropriate theoretical understanding of this causal variable have been questioned. An examination of reanalyses of studies of self-monitoring, analyses of the internal structure of the Self-Monitoring Scale, and further relevant data suggest that the measure does tap a meaningful and interpretable causal variable with pervasive influences on social behavior, a variable reflected as a general self-monitoring factor. We discuss the evaluation and furthering of the interpretation of this latent causal variable, offer criteria for evaluating alternative measures of self-monitoring, and present a new, 18-item Self-Monitoring Scale.
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A hypothesized need to form and maintain strong, stable interpersonal relationships is evaluated in light of the empirical literature. The need is for frequent, nonaversive interactions within an ongoing relational bond. Consistent with the belongingness hypothesis, people form social attachments readily under most conditions and resist the dissolution of existing bonds. Belongingness appears to have multiple and strong effects on emotional patterns and on cognitive processes. Lack of attachments is linked to a variety of ill effects on health, adjustment, and well-being. Other evidence, such as that concerning satiation, substitution, and behavioral consequences, is likewise consistent with the hypothesized motivation. Several seeming counterexamples turned out not to disconfirm the hypothesis. Existing evidence supports the hypothesis that the need to belong is a powerful, fundamental, and extremely pervasive motivation.
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Four studies examined the intrapersonal and interpersonal consequences of seeking out others when good things happen (i.e., capitalization). Two studies showed that communicating personal positive events with others was associated with increased daily positive affect and well-being, above and beyond the impact of the positive event itself and other daily events. Moreover, when others were perceived to respond actively and constructively (and not passively or destructively) to capitalization attempts, the benefits were further enhanced. Two studies found that close relationships in which one's partner typically responds to capitalization attempts enthusiastically were associated with higher relationship well-being (e.g., intimacy, daily marital satisfaction). The results are discussed in terms of the theoretical and empirical importance of understanding how people "cope" with positive events, cultivate positive emotions, and enhance social bonds.
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This article reports the development and validation of a scale to measure global life satisfaction, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). Among the various components of subjective well-being, the SWLS is narrowly focused to assess global life satisfaction and does not tap related constructs such as positive affect or loneliness. The SWLS is shown to have favorable psychometric properties, including high internal consistency and high temporal reliability. Scores on the SWLS correlate moderately to highly with other measures of subjective well-being, and correlate predictably with specific personality characteristics. It is noted that the SWLS is Suited for use with different age groups, and other potential uses of the scale are discussed.
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Most studies of social relationships in later life focus on the amount of social contact, not on individuals' perceptions of social isolation. However, loneliness is likely to be an important aspect of aging. A major limiting factor in studying loneliness has been the lack of a measure suitable for large-scale social surveys. This article describes a short loneliness scale developed specifically for use on a telephone survey. The scale has three items and a simplified set of response categories but appears to measure overall loneliness quite well. The authors also document the relationship between loneliness and several commonly used measures of objective social isolation. As expected, they find that objective and subjective isolation are related. However, the relationship is relatively modest, indicating that the quantitative and qualitative aspects of social relationships are distinct. This result suggests the importance of studying both dimensions of social relationships in the aging process.
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Past support-seeking research has examined how much support people seek (strategic level) or the way they seek it (tactical level). However, there are questions that can only be answered by looking at both levels simultaneously. In this article, we investigated how the overall amount of support sought can be decomposed into two component tactics: the number of supporters one seeks (breadth) and the amount one seeks from each supporter (depth). In a 2-week diary study of support seeking, it was found that gender and attachment differences in overall support seeking were driven by the breadth rather than the depth of seeking. It was also found that breadth was associated with increases in perceived support availability, whereas both breadth and depth were associated with increases in self-esteem.
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This article reports the development and validation of a scale to measure global life satisfaction, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). Among the various components of subjective well-being, the SWLS is narrowly focused to assess global life satisfaction and does not tap related constructs such as positive affect or loneliness. The SWLS is shown to have favorable psychometric properties, including high internal consistency and high temporal reliability. Scores on the SWLS correlate moderately to highly with other measures of subjective well-being, and correlate predictably with specific personality characteristics. It is noted that the SWLS is suited for use with different age groups, and other potential uses of the scale are discussed.
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Remember when categorizations for emotional responsiveness were simple—type A vs type B, or introverted vs extroverted? Once you read Handbook of Emotion Regulation, edited by respected Stanford psychologist James J. Gross, you’ll long for those days of simplicity. As stated in the book, the complexity of emotion regulation is like a “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” (p 87), words used by Churchill to describe Russia. Although several definitions are presented in the text, emotion regulation generally refers to the modification of emotional reactions in the form of activation, inhibition, or more graded modifications.
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[explore] issues concerning the multiple functions of sex within a relationship and its changing nature and importance over the course of a developing relationship [within attachment theory] / present results from 2 recent studies which indicate that, beyond infancy, attachments are formed almost exclusively with sexual partners / draw upon empirical findings from diverse sources and disciplines to derive a conceptualization of the role of sexual interest and sexual behavior in adolescent and adult attachment relationships (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Two experiments with 105 undergraduates assessed the involvement of self-monitoring (SM) processes in friendship. Exp I focused on the differential considerations that are involved when high SM and low SM Ss choose friends as partners for leisure-time activities. High SM Ss chose friends as activity partners on the basis of their friends' particular skills in the activity domain. Low SM Ss chose friends as activity partners on the basis of general feelings of liking for their friends. Exp II examined the internal structures of the preferred social worlds of high SM Ss and low SM Ss. High SM Ss preferred relatively partitioned and compartmentalized social worlds in which they would engage in particular activities only with specific partners. Low SM Ss preferred relatively homogeneous and undifferentiated social worlds in which they would spend time with friends who were globally similar to them. Implications for understanding the processes by which individuals facilitate the enactment of their characteristic behavioral orientations, as well as for understanding the nature of friendship itself, are discussed. (28 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This study was designed to determine the role extraversion plays in influencing the utilization of social support and how this support might then subsequently influence extraverts' and introverts' differential experience of stress. Ninety-nine undergraduate introductory psychology students served as participants in the study. Participants were administered questionnaires that assessed level of extraversion, perceived available support, enacted support, social network characteristics, and stress, as measured by daily hassles. Results of the study revealed positive correlations between extraversion and perceived availability of support (Belonging and Tangible), enacted support (Directive Guidance, Nondirective Support, Positive Social Interaction, Tangible Assistance), and social network characteristics (network size and contact with network members). Extraversion was also positively correlated with stress. Results of path analyses suggested that perceived availability of support, in particular Belonging support, might mediate the relationship between extraversion and stress.
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When time is limited, researchers may be faced with the choice of using an extremely brief measure of the Big-Five personality dimensions or using no measure at all. To meet the need for a very brief measure, 5 and 10-item inventories were developed and evaluated. Although somewhat inferior to standard multi-item instruments, the instruments reached adequate levels in terms of: (a) convergence with widely used Big-Five measures in self, observer, and peer reports, (b) test–retest reliability, (c) patterns of predicted external correlates, and (d) convergence between self and observer ratings. On the basis of these tests, a 10-item measure of the Big-Five dimensions is offered for situations where very short measures are needed, personality is not the primary topic of interest, or researchers can tolerate the somewhat diminished psychometric properties associated with very brief measures.
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In a sample of 2918 adolescents aged 12 to 24 years, the relation between parental and friends' social support was studied, specifically with regard to emotional problems. In addition, age and sex differences were examined. Results indicated that parental and friends' support seem to be relatively independent support systems. Although the degree of perceived support changes in the expected direction (with parental support decreasing and friends' support increasing) during early adolescence, parental support remains the best indicator of emotional problems during adolescence. The effect of friends' support appeared to depend slightly on the level of perceived parental support, with the high parental support group showing a slightly positive effect of friends' support, and the low parental support group showing a negative effect of friends' support.
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Persons with more types of social relationships live longer and have less cognitive decline with aging, greater resistance to infectious disease, and better prognoses when facing chronic life-threatening illnesses. We have known about the importance of social integration (engaging in diverse types of relationships) for health and longevity for 30 years. Yet, we still do not know why having a more diverse social network would have a positive influence on our health, and we have yet to design effective interventions that influence key components of the network and in turn physical health. Better understanding of the role of social integration in health will require research on how integrated social networks influence health relevant behaviors, regulate emotions and biological responses, and contribute to our expectations and world views.
Article
Findings from 6 experiments support the hypothesis that relationship evaluations and behavioral tendencies are goal dependent, reflecting the instrumentality of significant others for the self's progress toward currently active goals. Experiments 1 and 3 found that active goals can automatically bring to mind significant others who are instrumental for the activated goal, heightening their accessibility relative to noninstrumental others. Experiments 2-5 found that active goals cause individuals to evaluate instrumental others more positively, draw closer to them, and approach them more readily, compared with noninstrumental others. Experiment 6 found that people who engage in goal-dependent interpersonal evaluations are more successful, receiving higher grades. Implications for understanding the social nature of self-regulation and the impact of personal goals on interpersonal relationships are discussed.
Article
The approach to the problem of oncogenesis of tumorigenic viruses is compared and analyzed from the position of the Altshtein-Vogt hypothesis and from that of the general theory of oncogenesis advanced by the present author. In contrast to the hypothesis of Altshtein-Vogt dealing mainly with the problem of oncogene origin, the general theory of oncogenesis not only defines concretely the origin of the oncogene and the essence of its product, but also makes it possible to understand why, when and how integration of the oncogene with the genome of the cell leads to the transformation of the cell into a benign cell and when into a malignant tumour cell. An analysis of the essence of the "oncogene position effect" from this standpoint shows that an integration, similar in its mechanism but differing in polarity, of the genome of other viruses with the cell genome should lead to the formation of a corresponding antiviral stable (life-long) immunity or also to the emergence of pseudoautoimmune disease of the type caused by "slow" viruses.
Article
In this study, 549 youths in the fourth grade, seventh grade, tenth grade, and college completed Network of Relationship Inventories assessing their perceptions of their relationships with significant others. The findings were largely consistent with 7 propositions derived from major theories of the developmental courses of personal relationships. In particular, mothers and fathers were seen as the most frequent providers of support in the fourth grade. Same-sex friends were perceived to be as supportive as parents in the seventh grade, and were the most frequent providers of support in the tenth grade. Romantic partners moved up in rank with age until college, where they, along with friends and mothers, received the highest ratings for support. Age differences were also observed in perceptions of relationships with grandparents, teachers, and siblings. Finally, age differences in perceived conflict, punishment, and relative power suggested that there was a peak in tension in parent-child relationships in early and middle adolescence. Discussion centers around the role various relationships are perceived as playing at different points in development.
Article
This review focuses on the pathway leading from the marital relationship to physical health. Evidence from 64 articles published in the past decade, particularly marital interaction studies, suggests that marital functioning is consequential for health; negative dimensions of marital functioning have indirect influences on health outcomes through depression and health habits, and direct influences on cardiovascular, endocrine, immune, neurosensory, and other physiological mechanisms. Moreover, individual difference variables such as trait hostility augment the impact of marital processes on biological systems. Emerging themes in the past decade include the importance of differentiating positive and negative dimensions of marital functioning, the explanatory power of behavioral data, and gender differences in the pathways from the marital relationship to physiological functioning. Contemporary models of gender that emphasize self-processes, traits, and roles furnish alternative perspectives on the differential costs and benefits of marriage for men's and women's health.
Article
Drawing on an appraisal-tendency framework (J. S. Lerner & D. Keltner, 2000), the authors predicted and found that fear and anger have opposite effects on risk perception. Whereas fearful people expressed pessimistic risk estimates and risk-averse choices, angry people expressed optimistic risk estimates and risk-seeking choices. These opposing patterns emerged for naturally occurring and experimentally induced fear and anger. Moreover, estimates of angry people more closely resembled those of happy people than those of fearful people. Consistent with predictions, appraisal tendencies accounted for these effects: Appraisals of certainty and control moderated and (in the case of control) mediated the emotion effects. As a complement to studies that link affective valence to judgment outcomes, the present studies highlight multiple benefits of studying specific emotions.
Depth and breadth tactics in support seeking. Social Psychological and Personality Science Advance online publication
  • B F Armstrong
  • L K Kammrath
Armstrong, B. F., & Kammrath, L. K. (in press). Depth and breadth tactics in support seeking. Social Psychological and Personality Science. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/ 1948550614546049
Can we improve our physical health by altering our social networks? Perspectives on Psychological Science Stress, social support, and the buf-fering hypothesis
  • S Cohen
  • D Janicki-Deverts
Cohen, S., & Janicki-Deverts, D. (2009). Can we improve our physical health by altering our social networks? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4, 375–378. doi:10.1111/j.1745-6924.2009.01141.x Cohen, S., & Wills, T. A. (1985). Stress, social support, and the buf-fering hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin, 98, 310–357. doi:10. 1037/0033-2909.98.2.310
Conflict and cortisol in newlyweds' natural environments: The stress-buffering role of perceived network support Unpublished masters thesis Marriage and health: His and hers
  • E Keneski
  • T J Loving
  • L A Neff
  • Austin
  • J K Kiecolt-Glaser
  • T L Newton
Keneski, E., Loving, T. J., & Neff, L. A. (2013). Conflict and cortisol in newlyweds' natural environments: The stress-buffering role of perceived network support. Unpublished masters thesis, University of Texas at Austin. Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., & Newton, T. L. (2001). Marriage and health: His and hers. Psychological Bulletin, 127, 472–503. doi:10.1037/ 0033-2909.127.4.472
Conflict and cortisol in newlyweds' natural environments: The stress-buffering role of perceived network support
  • E Keneski
  • T J Loving
  • L A Neff
Keneski, E., Loving, T. J., & Neff, L. A. (2013). Conflict and cortisol in newlyweds' natural environments: The stress-buffering role of perceived network support. Unpublished masters thesis, University of Texas at Austin.
Oxford handbook of social neuroscience
  • J A Coan
Coan, J. A. (2011). The social regulation of emotion. In J. Decety & J. T. Cacioppo (Eds.) Oxford handbook of social neuroscience (pp. 614-623). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
A very brief measure of the Big-Five personality domains
  • S D Gosling
  • P J Rentfrow
  • W R Swann
Gosling, S. D., Rentfrow, P. J., & Swann, W. R. (2003). A very brief measure of the Big-Five personality domains. Journal of Research in Personality, 37, 504-528. doi:10.1016/S0092-6566(03)00046-1