Executive Function Contributions to Emotion Regulation in the Relationship Between Stress and Psychopathology in Emerging Adulthood

dc.contributor.authorCochrane, Melanie
dc.contributor.supervisorSmart, Colette
dc.date.accessioned2014-08-18T15:14:18Z
dc.date.available2014-08-18T15:14:18Z
dc.date.copyright2014en_US
dc.date.issued2014-08-18
dc.degree.departmentDepartment of Psychologyen_US
dc.degree.levelMaster of Science M.Sc.en_US
dc.description.abstractPrevailing theories of emotion regulation (ER) focus on the role of various aspects of cognition for successful regulation of one’s emotions. In particular, research suggests that executive functions (EF) may play an important role in contributing to successful ER. Emerging adulthood can be a time of high levels of perceived stress associated with changing developmental roles, which can be a risk factor for psychopathology (e.g., depression, anxiety). Emerging adulthood is also a time during which EF comes to maturation both behaviorally and biologically. This prolonged period of development associated with EF and ER maturity may represent an increased period of vulnerability in young adults, and deficits in EF may pose a significant risk for emotion dysregulation and future psychopathology. This study aimed to investigate whether EFs played a role in ER for emerging adults. More specifically, this study examined whether EFs (including, working memory, attentional control, and inhibitory control) moderated the indirect effect of ER in the relationship between stress and psychopathology in the context of emerging adulthood. A sample of 75 undergraduate students at the University of Victoria was recruited. Participants self reported perceived levels of stress and psychopathology symptoms. Participants also completed a computerized ER task where they viewed aversive pictures and sentences on a computer screen and explicitly applied an ER strategy to reduce their negative emotions when viewing the stimuli. Tests of EF including the Go/No-Go, Number-Letter and N-Back task were also completed. Results revealed that moderated mediation did not hold for this sample. However, working memory, attentional control, and inhibitory control moderated the relationship between ER and psychopathology. Specifically, low working memory and attentional control, and high inhibitory control moderated the relationship between cognitive reappraisal and psychopathology. For this same relationship of cognitive reappraisal to psychopathology, faster engagement in response inhibition (i.e., faster reaction times) was trending toward significant levels of psychopathology symptoms. For expressive suppression, the relationship to psychopathology was moderated by inhibitory control. ER did not mediate the relationship between stress and psychopathology symptoms across the entire sample. The results illuminate the ways in which EFs contribute to ER in the context of emerging adulthood. Implications for promoting successful ER and informing therapeutic techniques used with this critical population are discussed.en_US
dc.description.proquestcode0622en_US
dc.description.proquestcode0347en_US
dc.description.proquestcode0317en_US
dc.description.proquestemailmcochran@uvic.caen_US
dc.description.scholarlevelGraduateen_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1828/5564
dc.languageEnglisheng
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.rights.tempAvailable to the World Wide Weben_US
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/*
dc.subjectEmotion Regulationen_US
dc.subjectExecutive Functionsen_US
dc.subjectStressen_US
dc.subjectEmerging Adulthooden_US
dc.subjectPsychopathologyen_US
dc.titleExecutive Function Contributions to Emotion Regulation in the Relationship Between Stress and Psychopathology in Emerging Adulthooden_US
dc.typeThesisen_US

Files

Original bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Name:
Cochrane_Melanie_MSc_2014.pdf
Size:
3.32 MB
Format:
Adobe Portable Document Format
Description:
License bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
No Thumbnail Available
Name:
license.txt
Size:
1.74 KB
Format:
Item-specific license agreed upon to submission
Description: