Regulatory control and adults' stress-related responses to daily life events

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Abstract

In this study, the authors examined the relations of regulatory control to adults' daily stress-related responses. A physiological index of regulatory control (vagal tone) and daily reports of stress and coping were obtained from 92 college students. The results of the study generally confirmed the prediction that individuals who are high in regulatory control were relatively unlikely to experience high levels of negative emotional arousal in response to stressors, but this relation held only for moderate- to high-intensity stressors. Moreover, under conditions of moderate to high stress, highly regulated individuals were likely to cope constructively with the stressor. Mediational analyses suggested that the relation of regulatory control to constructive coping was partially mediated by negative emotional arousal. The results support the conclusion that individual differences in regulatory control interact with situational factors in influencing the prediction of stress-related responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1107-1117
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume73
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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