< Back to previous page


Emotion regulation and mood brightening in daily life vary with depressive symptom levels.

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Naturalistic studies of emotional reactivity in depression have repeatedly found larger decreases in negative affect (NA) among depressed individuals in response to daily positive events. This so-called mood-brightening (MB) effect represents a theoretical and empirical oddity. The current study is a secondary analysis investigating whether the MB effect is moderated by spontaneous use of emotion regulation strategies, which have been implicated in the maintenance and modulation of NA in prior work. Participants (Nā€‰=ā€‰95) representing a large spectrum of depressive symptom severity reported their experiences of NA and the occurrence of positive events in daily life over the course of seven days using the experience sampling method. Our findings replicate and build upon those of prior studies relating to the MB effect in the following ways: (1) we observed the MB effect for specific negative emotions of sadness, anger, anxiety; and (2) we found evidence that the MB effect is moderated by spontaneous use of rumination, distraction, and expressive suppression, which have been shown to enhance or dampen NA. The role of emotion regulation strategies in daily emotional reactivity to pleasant events is discussed.
Journal: Cognition & Emotion
ISSN: 0269-9931
Issue: 6
Volume: 33
Pages: 1291 - 1301
Publication year:2019