ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (4): 426-435.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00426

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 The relationship between cognitive emotion regulation of negative marital events and marital satisfaction among older people: A cross-lagged analysis

 YE Wanqing1; LI Xiaotong2; WANG Dahua1   

  1.  (1 Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China) (2 Gu Cheng No.2 Primary School, Beijing 100043, China)
  • Received:2017-02-08 Published:2018-04-25 Online:2018-02-28
  • Contact: WANG Dahua, E-mail: E-mail: E-mail:
  • Supported by:

Abstract:  When encountered with negative events, individuals’ emotion regulation plays an important role that can influence the adaptation outcomes. Regardless the theoretical origins of the definition of emotion regulation, the cognitive component is consistently addressed. Given the decline of health and sense of control and thus the lack of coping resources, older people tend to use more cognitive than behavioral emotion regulation while facing stressful events. Cognitive emotion regulation refers to the conscious and cognitive way of managing the intake of emotionally arousing information and dealing with stress. In this study, we chose the negative events in marriage as the stressful situation, and tested the adaptability of cognitive emotion regulation strategies by using depression and anxiety as the adaptive index. Besides, we used the Cross-Lagged Regression Analysis to examine the causal link between the marital satisfaction and cognitive emotion regulation strategies. We assumed that marital satisfaction would be influenced by the cognitive emotion regulation strategies. There were 615 elderly adults with an average age of 67.48 years (SD = 5.08) who participated in the first investigation, and 352 of them accepted a re-test two years later. The measures included the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire, Marital Satisfaction subscale, 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale, 20-item Geriatric Anxiety Scale, demographic sheet, screening test for cognitive impairment, and the questionnaire of negative life events. The SPSS 22.0 was used for data analysis. The main findings are as followed: (1) the cognitive emotion regulation strategies including rumination, catastrophizing, acceptance, and putting into perspective could positively predict depression or anxiety among elderly adults; (2) Cognitive emotion regulation strategies from the first investigation set could not predict marital satisfaction at the reinvestigation. However, marital satisfaction at the first investigation could significantly predict the blaming of others and rumination at reinvestigation. Specifically, individuals who reported lower marital satisfaction tended to employ more strategies of blaming others and rumination. These results indicated that when facing negative events in marriage, using more strategies such as acceptance, rumination, putting into perspective, and catastrophizing would be associated with more depression or anxiety for older adults. Results also partly demonstrated age specificity, with younger participants displaying greater use of acceptance and putting into perspective as adaptive strategies. Contrary to our assumption, marital satisfaction can impact the cognitive emotion regulation strategies, which might due to that marital satisfaction is very stable in later life and it tend to predict rather than be predicted.

Key words: cognitive emotion regulation, marital satisfaction, older people, Cross-Lagged Analysis

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