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Reciprocal effects between negative affect and emotion regulation in daily life.

The extended process model of emotion regulation provides a framework for understanding how emotional experiences and emotion regulation (ER) mutually influence each other over time. To investigate this reciprocal relationship, 202 adults completed a ten-day experience-sampling survey capturing levels of negative affect (NA) experience and use of ten ER strategies in daily life. Residual dynamic structural equation models (DSEMs) were used to examine within-person cross-lagged and autoregressive effects of NA and ER (strategy use and between-strategy variability). Results showed that NA predicted lower between-strategy variability, lower subsequent use of acceptance and problem-solving, but higher subsequent use of rumination and worry. Moreover, reappraisal and between-strategy variability predicted lower subsequent NA levels, while expressive suppression and worry predicted higher subsequent NA levels. Stable autoregressive effects were found for NA and for maladaptive ER strategies (e.g., rumination and worry). Exploratory correlation analyses revealed positive associations between NA inertia and maladaptive ER strategies. Together, these findings provide evidence of a dynamic interplay between NA and ER. This work deepens how we understand the challenges of applying ER strategies in daily life. Future clinical and translational research should consider these dynamic perspectives on ER and affect.

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