Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7148-9761

Year of Publication

2022

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department/School/Program

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Kate A. Leger

Abstract

How individuals regulate their emotions is critical for maintaining health and well-being. For example, reframing a stressful situation in a positive light, a form of cognitive reappraisal, is beneficial for health and well-being outcomes. However, it is currently unclear why this relationship exists. One potential mechanism could be how one emotionally reacts to stressors in daily life, termed affective reactivity. The current study examined longitudinal associations that spanned 20 years between cognitive reappraisal and health outcomes and subjective well-being and if affective reactivity mediated this relationship. Participants completed waves 1-3 of the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) Survey series and were asked various questions about their general health and well-being. A subset of participants from MIDUS II completed the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE II), an 8-day daily diary asking about their everyday experiences. The final sample consisted of 1,814 participants. Results found that cognitive reappraisal was significantly associated with future health and well-being outcomes, and negative affective reactivity significantly mediated this relationship. Findings from this study could better inform stress and well-being interventions by strengthening cognitive reappraisal strategies to target reducing affective reactivity to stressors which should then benefit long-term health and well-being.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/6etd.2022.205

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