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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Emotion Regulation of Others and Self (EROS): A Collaborative Research Network

Grant reference: RES-060-25-0044

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Journal article details

You spin me right round : cross-relationship variability in interpersonal emotion regulation
Individuals use a range of interpersonal emotion regulation strategies to influence the feelings of others, e.g., friends, family members, romantic partners, work colleagues. But little is known about whether people vary their strategy use across these different relational contexts. We characterize and measure this variability as “spin,” i.e., the extent of dispersion in a person’s interpersonal emotion regulation strategy use across different relationships, and focus on two key questions. First, is spin adaptive or maladaptive with regard to personal well-being and relationship quality? Second, do personality traits that are considered important for interpersonal functioning (i.e., empathy, attachment style) predict spin? The data used in this study is drawn from a large online survey. A key contribution of this study is to reveal that people who varied the type of strategies they used across relationships (i.e., those with high spin) had lower positive mood, higher emotional exhaustion, and less close relationships. A further key contribution is to show that spin was associated with low empathic concern and perspective taking and high anxious attachment style. High variability in interpersonal emotion regulation strategies across relationships therefore appears to be maladaptive both personally and socially.

Primary contributor

Author Karen Niven

Additional contributors

Co-author Ian Macdonald
Co-author David Holman

Additional details

Article 394
Frontiers Research Foundation
08 October 2012
Lausanne, Switzerland
Frontiers in psychology