Effects of temperament and emotion regulation styles in determining negative emotional states.

Miquel Tortella-Feliu, Blanca Aguayo, Albert Sesé, Alfonso Morillas-Romero, Maria Balle, Joan Miquel Gelabert, Xavier Bornas, Jordi Llabrés
Universitat de les Illes Balears
Actas espanolas de psiquiatria (impact factor: 0.59). 11/2012; 40(6):315-22.

Introduction. The interplay of reactive and regulatory temperamental processes appears to be essential for a better understanding of emotional states and disorders. In this study we explored the prospective relationship between reactive temperament (negative affect), regulatory temperament (effortful control), negative emotion regulation styles (rumination and suppression) and self-recorded anxiety, worry, and avoidance in naturalistic conditions. Method. Thirty-two young adults were first assessed through questionnaires on negative affectivity, effortful control, and two forms of negative emotion regulation (rumination and suppression). After this they recorded anxiety, worry, and avoidance three times a day over 50 consecutive days through an on-line access electronic diary. Results. High levels of negative affect and low levels of effortful control were associated with higher levels of anxiety, worry, and avoidance (p<.01). The prospective association between negative affectivity and avoidance was moderated by effortful control (Total R2=.49). Moreover, the brooding facet of rumination totally mediated the association between negative affect and anxiety with a significant indirect effect (Effect=.30, Boot CI95%=.09 to .69). Conclusions. Avoidance patterns are significantly determined by negative affect – effortful control interaction and rumination, especially brooding, totally mediates the relationship between negative affect and anxiety.