The Role of Stressor Controllability in Regulatory Strategy Use Effectiveness: A Daily Diary Examination of Strategy-Situation Fit

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The Role of Stressor Controllability in Regulatory Strategy Use Effectiveness: A Daily Diary Examination of Strategy-Situation Fit

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2022-09

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The current study sought to increase understanding of college student regulatory strategy use by examining the strategy-situation fit hypothesis using daily diary methods. Specifically, the study examined the role of controllability of a stressor on the associations between strategy-situation fit and well-being (with different strategies hypothesized to be more adaptive in high or low control situations). Participants were 221 undergraduate students, 18 years or older from two Midwestern universities, who completed daily diary surveys electronically for 14 days during the Fall 2020 semester. Measures were included to assess regulatory strategy use (i.e., problem-solving, reappraisal, acceptance), stressors and stressor controllability, and well-being indicators (i.e., positive and negative affect, depression and anxiety symptoms, perceived stress, problem resolution). Several multilevel models were used to test hypotheses. Problem-solving and reappraisal use were positively associated with stressor controllability whereas acceptance was negatively associated with controllability. On days when students experienced more objectively controllable stressors, they reported greater well-being than on days with less controllable stressors. Each regulatory strategy was associated with greater well-being. Use of acceptance was most consistently associated with greater well-being across indicators. Interactions between controllability and regulatory strategy use in predicting well-being indicators were largely nonsignificant and did not support the strategy-situation fit hypothesis. The exception was that students reported lower perceived stress when they used more problem-solving in high-control situations than if they used less problem-solving. Results are discussed in terms of previous research and future implications.

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University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2022. Major: Counseling Psychology. Advisor: Patricia Frazier. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 72 pages.

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Mischel, Emily. (2022). The Role of Stressor Controllability in Regulatory Strategy Use Effectiveness: A Daily Diary Examination of Strategy-Situation Fit. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/250041.

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