Emotion Regulation

Esmeralda Aguilera and Dr. Beatrice de Oca


Our purpose for conducting this study was to examine how undergraduate students choose to regulate their emotions. Additionally, we wanted to explore if there are any potential gender differences within emotion regulation strategies. For instance, do males use exercise as a form of escapism/avoidance/suppression instead of dealing with their emotions? This is particularly important due to how society views what are acceptable forms of dealing with emotions, especially, in regards to societal expectations on gender identity, which may encourage males to avoid or suppress emotions more than females.
Answering this would be helpful, as it could lead to further explanation as to why people choose specific forms of emotion regulation. By doing this study it might help identify one possible downside of regular exercise in that it might discourage other forms of emotion coping, which could then lead us to explore healthier options for emotion regulation, especially now during the ongoing COVID19 pandemic. Participants were recruited from California State University Channel Islands through the SONA research participation program. Participants had to take four assessments: 1) 22-item Ruminative Responses subscale (RRS) of the Response Style Questionnaire (Treynor, Gonzalez, & NolenHoeksema, 2003) assesses two factors of rumination: reflective pondering and brooding, 2) 21-item Depression Anxiety Stress Scales evaluates participants’ mood during the past week and is composed of three scales: Depression, Anxiety, and Stress (DASS-21; Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995), 3) George NonExercise Test (GNET; George, Stone, & Burkett, 1997), which comprises three questions covering perceived functional ability and habitual physical activity, and 4) Emotion-Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ; Gross and John 2003). They also answered a series of demographic questions asking about employment, credits enrolled, and disability.

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