Congratulations to Ashley M. Battaglini and collaborators for publishing their paper titled, “Interpersonal Emotion Regulation Flexibility: Effects on Affect in Daily Life” in the APA Journal Emotion!
Although the emotion regulation (ER) literature is vast, two emerging areas are particularly noteworthy. First, as opposed to the traditional blanket characterization of ER strategies as adaptive or maladaptive, theoretical models have highlighted the adaptability of greater ER flexibility (i.e., flexibly implementing ER strategies based on the context). Second, instead of focusing on how individuals independently regulate emotions, researchers are increasingly examining how ER can occur with the help of another person, a process known as interpersonal emotion regulation (IER). This study is the first to integrate these two emerging areas of research and to apply the two main theories of ER flexibility to investigate the effect of IER flexibility on negative and positive affect. A sample of 384 adults (Mage = 38.58 years, SD = 13.82) residing predominantly in North America completed this 14-day daily diary study. As expected, greater repertoire and greater responsivity to feedback were associated with more adaptive affective outcomes (i.e., less negative affect and/or more positive affect). However, unexpected findings also emerged: Greater context sensitivity did not significantly predict affect, and the covariation of within-strategy variability and environmental variability predicted higher negative affect. Findings provide initial evidence that IER adaptiveness is influenced by one’s ability to flexibly implement IER strategies (i.e., IER flexibility). The results also highlight the components of IER flexibility (namely greater repertoire and responsivity to feedback) that predict daily adaptive affective consequences.
Read the full paper here.