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Emotion. 2006 Nov;6(4):543-52.

Emotion regulation and its effects on mood improvement in response to an in vivo peer rejection challenge.

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  • 1Department of Developmental Psychology, Free University, Amsterdam, Netherlands. A.reijntjes@planet.nl


This study examined children's spontaneous use of behavioral emotion regulation (ER) strategies and their effects on subsequent mood change in response to an in vivo peer rejection manipulation. Participants (N = 186), ranging between 10 and 13 years of age, played a computer game based on the television show Survivor and were randomized to either peer rejection (being voted out of the game) or nonrejection control. In response to rejection, more than one third of the participants (38%) displayed a marked worsening (i.e., reliable change) in state mood. After receiving feedback, time spent on several behavioral ER strategies during a 5-minute postfeedback period was assessed. At the end of the postfeedback period, children's cognitive activity was also assessed. More time spent on behavioral distraction was positively linked to subsequent increases in positive affect, whereas the reverse pattern was found for disengagement/passive behavior. Moreover, higher endorsement ratings for the strategy of "cognitive analysis" were associated with stronger increases in negative affect.

Copyright 2006 APA, all rights reserved.

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