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J Soc Psychol. 2016;156(1):115-21. doi: 10.1080/00224545.2015.1041448. Epub 2015 Apr 21.

General Needs Satisfaction as a Mediator of the Relationship Between Ambivalence Over Emotional Expression and Perceived Social Support.

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a Universtiy of Houston.


The detrimental effect of ambivalence over emotional expression (AEE) on social support has been well documented. However, the underlying mechanism of this effect remains unclear. Research has demonstrated that when general needs are not met, negative psychological outcomes occur. Thus, the current study investigated general needs satisfaction (GNS) as a potential mediator of the association between AEE and social support among 352 undergraduates. Results revealed that AEE was negatively associated with autonomy, relatedness, competence, and social support, whereas social support was positively associated with autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Further, GNS and each of its three subscales were all found to significantly mediate the association between AEE and social support. Thus, findings from the present study contribute to our understanding of AEE by illustrating a potential mechanism through which AEE may lead to a lack of perceived social support, namely GNS.


ambivalence over emotional expression; autonomy; competence; relatedness; social support

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