Is the relationship between sensory-processing sensitivity and negative affect mediated by emotional regulation?

Brindle, Kimberley, Moulding, Richard, Bakker, Kaitlyn and Nedeljkovic, Maja 2015, Is the relationship between sensory-processing sensitivity and negative affect mediated by emotional regulation?, Australian journal of psychology, vol. 67, no. 4, pp. 214-221, doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12084.

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Title Is the relationship between sensory-processing sensitivity and negative affect mediated by emotional regulation?
Author(s) Brindle, Kimberley
Moulding, RichardORCID iD for Moulding, Richard
Bakker, Kaitlyn
Nedeljkovic, Maja
Journal name Australian journal of psychology
Volume number 67
Issue number 4
Start page 214
End page 221
Total pages 8
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication Parkville, Vic.
Publication date 2015-01-01
ISSN 0004-9530
Keyword(s) Anxiety
Emotional regulation
Sensory-processing sensitivity
Social Sciences
Psychology, Multidisciplinary
Summary © 2015 Australian Psychological Society. Objective: Sensory-processing sensitivity refers to a trait-like difference in the extent to which individuals strongly and deeply process a variety of stimuli in the environment. While being highly sensitive has been linked to increased experiences of distress, the reasons for this are not well known. One potential mediator of this effect is emotional regulation-the set of processes influencing which emotions we have, when we have them, and how we experience and express them. This study therefore aimed to investigate whether sensory processing sensitivity is linked to negative affect via emotional regulation processes. Method: N=157 participants (n=118 females) completed online questionnaires assessing negative affect, sensory-processing sensitivity, along with two multidimensional emotional regulation measures. Results: An individual's lack of access to emotional regulation strategies, greater awareness of emotion, and lack of acceptance towards feeling distressed, acted as partial mediators between sensory-processing sensitivity and symptoms of depression. Combinations of these variables also partially mediated the relationship between sensory-processing sensitivity and symptoms of anxiety and stress. Conclusions: It is suggested that repeatedly experiencing aversive sensory-states among those with increased sensory-processing sensitivity impacts on their general awareness and acceptance of internal states and the confidence that one can regulate them. This in turn leads to the experience of negative affective states. Limitations of the present study and implications for therapeutic interventions are discussed.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/ajpy.12084
Field of Research 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 920401 Behaviour and Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, Wiley
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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