The match-mismatch model of emotion processing styles and emotion regulation strategies in fibromyalgia.
SourceJournal of Psychosomatic Research, 72, 1, (2012), pp. 45-50
1 januari 2012
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Psychosomatic Research
SubjectNCEBP 8: Psychological determinants of chronic illness N4i 4: Auto-immunity, transplantation and immunotherapy
OBJECTIVE: Individuals differ in their style of processing emotions (e.g., experiencing affects intensely or being alexithymic) and their strategy of regulating emotions (e.g., expressing or reappraising). A match-mismatch model of emotion processing styles and emotion regulation strategies is proposed and tested. This model specifies that for people high on affect intensity, emotion expression is more adaptive than reappraisal, whereas for alexithymic people, reappraisal is more adaptive than expression. The present study tested this model in 403 women with fibromyalgia (mean age 46.5+/-12.3 years). METHODS: In a cross-sectional design, we assessed affect intensity (Berkeley Expressivity Questionnaire), alexithymia (Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20), cognitive reappraisal (Emotion Regulation Questionnaire), and emotion expression (Emotional Approach Coping Scales), as well as the impact of fibromyalgia (Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire). RESULTS: Multiple regression analyses with interaction terms indicated that among people high on affect intensity, emotion expression - but not cognitive reappraisal - was associated with less fibromyalgia impact. No support was found for the hypothesis that among alexithymic people, cognitive reappraisal would be more adaptive than emotion expression. CONCLUSION: Findings suggest that for women with fibromyalgia who experience their emotions intensely, an emotional disclosure or expression intervention may be beneficial. This hypothesis requires verification in experimental studies.
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