Successful management of automatic dysfunctional thoughts in the context of negative emotions

Anxiety, Stress, & Coping


Background and objectives: Cognitive and affective overloads trigger
automatic dysfunctional thoughts and undermine their voluntary
management [ADTs; Beck, A. T. (1976). Cognitive therapy and the
emotional disorders. New York: Meridian; Wegner, D. M. (1994). Ironic
processes of mental control. Psychology Review, 101(1), 34–52]. Taking
into account intense negative emotions as triggers for the ADTs, we
explored whether context (i.e., social context) and emotional experience
(i.e., emotional intensity) predict the successful management of ADTs.
We also examine the moderating role of difficulties in emotional
regulation strategies.
Method: Thirty-eight participants wrote in a personal online diary of at
least 10 times in 40 weeks. We analyzed the conditions for managing
ADTs by means of multilevel in stages models.
Results: Emotional intensity negatively predicted successful management
of ADTs. Attempts to control ADTs and work context positively predicted
successful management of ADTs. The negative relation between the
emotional intensity and the management of ADTs was stronger as
individuals were less aware of their own emotions, and was weaker as
they had less clear representations of their own emotions. Superior
access to emotion regulation strategies explained a stronger relationship
between the work context and the successful management of ADTs.
Conclusions: We discuss theoretical and practical implications of the



Cristina Maria Bostan, Laurențiu P Maricuțoiu, Ticu Constantin


Anxiety, Stress, & Coping

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