Beyond Goodbye: Daily Emotion Regulation from Network Members and from Thoughts of Deceased Loved Ones
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractBackground: The present daily diary study tested the ERROSS model (Stelzer & O'Connor, under review), examining whether conjugally bereaved individuals benefit from a diverse repertoire of social interaction partners and daily emotion regulation (ER) strategies. Beyond living supportive others, the study investigated associations between daily ER from thoughts of the deceased loved one and mental health, and the potential role of attachment moderators.Method: Participants were 156 community-dwelling adults (86% females) who experienced the death of a spouse or romantic partner up to five years prior. In a structured two-week long daily-diary, participants listed their daily interaction partners and the ER strategies provided by them as well as their daily mental wellbeing and grief. In addition, participants reported on their mental interactions with their deceased spouse and described the felt ER evoked by those interactions. Results: Multilevel modeling analyses found that at the within-person level, daily repertoire was positively related to positive affect, and daily network size was negatively related to life satisfaction. At the between-person level, greater averaged repertoire and network size were positively associated with mental wellbeing (i.e., greater positive affect and life satisfaction, lower negative affect). For ER from the deceased, ER strategies from the deceased were associated with increased negative affect on a daily level, but positively associated with positive affect and life satisfaction on the between-person level. No significant mental health associations emerged for daily grief. Conclusion: These results provide the first evidence of the ERROSS model in a naturalistic setting, and highlight the benefits or a diverse repertoire of ER during the transition to widowhood.
Degree ProgramGraduate College