Flexibility in Coping and Emotion Regulation

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Loss, Trauma, and Emotion Lab

Loss, Trauma, and Emotion Lab

Flexibility in Coping and Emotion Regulation

We have developed an heuristic framework (Bonanno & Burton, 2013) and a set of experimental and self-report measures to assess flexibility in coping and emotion regulation. This framework involves three sequential processes: The ability to accurately decode the demands and challenges presented by the situation (context sensitivity), the ability to use different types of regulatory behaviors/strategies (repertoire), and the ability to monitor and modify regulatory strategy efficacy after it is instantiated (feedback). One version of our experimental paradigm, which we have referred to as expressive flexibility (EF), assesses people’s ability to "modulate," that is ramp up (enhance) and ramp down (suppress) emotional expression. More recent versions of the paradigm have involved the up- and down-regulation of affective experience measured using facial EMG and EEG. We have also developed an experimental measure of the feedback component, the Responsiveness to Internal Feedback Task (RIFT; Birk & Bonanno, 2016). Our lab has also been developing questionnaire measures of these same components for use in large-scale survey studies. To this end, we developed a questionnaire measures of flexibility in coping with potential trauma, The Perceived Ability to Cope with Trauma (PACT) scale (Bonanno, Pat-Horenczyk, & Noll, 2011), and recently a questionnaire measure of expressive flexiblity, the Flexible Regulation of Emotional Expression (FREE) scale (Burton & Bonanno, 2016). We are also developing a measure of context sensitivity, the Context Sensitivity Index (CSI) which we hope to have completed soon. FOR COPIES OF THESE QUESTIONNAIRES, please click on the publications tab and the the questionnaire tab.