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When you don’t like what you feel: Experiential avoidance, mindfulness and meta-emotion in emotion regulation

September 24, 2018

The present study explores the role of (1) “experiential avoidance” (being non-accepting towards mental events) and (2) “mindful awareness” (being attentive in the present moment) in the prediction of well-being. These established constructs are newly complemented with (3) “meta-emotions” (emotional reactions about one’s own emotions) that allow for a meaningful differentiation of processes in experiential avoidance. Psychometric properties of the newly developed Meta-Emotion Scale (MES) are presented. Psychological well-being is strongly predicted by all three facets. Of the six MES subscales, substantial predictive power could be confirmed for “contempt/shame”, “suppression”, “tough control” and “interest”, whereas “anger” and “compassionate care”, unexpectedly, exerted little influence in our non-clinical sample. The role of meta-emotions in emotion regulation is discussed.


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