Emotion Regulation and Family Dynamics

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How we regulate our emotions plays an important role in coping with stressful relationship interactions, eliciting support, and overcoming personal challenges. For example, suppressing emotions or withdrawing from relationship interactions to manage negative emotions tends to exacerbate distress, undermine support, and lead to poorer psychological and physical health. Our research examines the predictors and consequences of a range of different types of emotion regulation strategies, as well as the role partners play in helping people regulate their emotions more constructively. We are also exploring the degree to which parents’ emotion regulation strategies may be transmitted to their children.

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Some Relevant Publications:

Girme, Y.U., Peters, B. J., Baker, L.R., Overall, N.C., Fletcher, G.J.O., Reis, H.T., Jamieson, J.P. & Sigal, M.J. (in press). Attachment anxiety and the curvilinear effects of expressive suppression on individuals’ and partners’ outcomes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Sasaki, E., Overall, N.C., Chang, V.T., & Low, R.S. T. (in press). A dyadic perspective of emotional suppression: Own or partner suppression weakens relationships. Emotion.

Girme, Y.U., Jones, R.E., Fleck, C., Simpson, J.A., & Overall, N.C. (2021). Infants’ attachment insecurity predicts attachment-relevant emotion regulation patterns in adulthood. Emotion, 21(2), 260-272. doi.org/10.1037/emo0000721

Pietromonaco, P.R., Overall, N.C., Beck, L.A., & Powers, S.I. (2021). Is low power associated with submission during marital conflict? Moderating roles of gender and traditional gender role beliefs. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 12, 165-175. doi.org/10.1177/1948550620904609

Overall, N.C., Clark, M.S., Fletcher, G.J.O., Peters, B.J., & Chang, V.T. (2020). Does expressing emotions enhance perceptual accuracy of negative emotions during relationship interactions? Emotion. doi.org/10.1037/emo0000653

Peters, B.J., & Overall, N.C. (2020). Perceptions of romantic partners’ emotional suppression are more biased than accurate. Emotion, 20, 1485-1489. doi.org/10.1037/emo0000679

Peters, B. J., Overall, N.C., Cameron, L.D., Hammond, M.D., Low, R.S.T., & Girme, Y.U. (2020). Do habitual emotional suppression measures predict response-focused situational suppression during social interactions? Emotion, 20, 1005-1019. doi.org/10.1037/emo0000620

Low, R.S.T., Overall, N.C., Cross, E.J. & Henderson, A.M.E. (2019). Emotion regulation, conflict resolution, and spillover on subsequent family functioning. Emotion, 19, 1162-1182. doi.org/10.1037/emo0000519

Chang, V.T., Overall, N.C., Madden. H., & Low, R.S.T. (2018). Expressive suppression tendencies, projection bias in memory of negative emotions and wellbeing. Emotion, 18, 925-941. doi.org/10.1037/emo0000405

Peters, B.J., Overall, N.C., Girme, Y.U., & Jamieson, J.P. (in press). Partners’ attachment insecurity predicts greater physiological threat in anticipation of attachment-relevant interactions. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. doi.org/10.1177/0265407517734655

Cameron, L.D., & Overall, N.C. (2018). Suppression and expression as distinct emotion-regulation processes in daily interactions: Longitudinal and meta-analyses. Emotion18, 465-480. doi.org/10.1037/emo0000334

Thompson, R.A., Overall, N.C., Cameron, L.D., & Low, R.S.T. (2018). Emotional suppression during relationship conflict: Regulating the risk of rejection via emotional suppression impedes conflict resolution. Journal of Family Psychology, 32, 722-732. doi.org/10.1037/fam0000429

Low, R.S.T., Overall, N.C., Hammond, M.D., & Girme, Y. U. (2017). Expressive suppression during personal goal pursuit impedes goal striving and achievement. Emotion, 17, 208-223. doi.org/10.1037/emo0000218

Dixon, H.C., & Overall, N.C. (2018). Regulating fears of rejection: Dispositional mindfulness attenuates the links between daily conflict, rejection fears and destructive relationship behaviors. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 35, 159-179doi.org/10.1177/0265407516678486

Dixon, H.C., & Overall, N.C. (2016). Dispositional mindfulness attenuates the link between daily stress and depressed mood. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 35, 256-269. doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2016.35.3.255

Jayamaha, S.D., Antonellis, C., & Overall, N.C. (2016). Attachment insecurity and inducing guilt to produce desired change in romantic partners. Personal Relationships, 23, 311-338. doi:10.1111/pere.12128

Overall, N.C. & Simpson, J.A. (2015). Attachment and dyadic regulation processes. In J.A. Simpson and E.J. Finkel (Eds.), Current Opinion in Psychology, 1, 61-66. [Download PDF]

Overall, N. C., Girme, Y.U., Lemay, E. P. Jr., & Hammond, M.D. (2014). Attachment anxiety and reactions to relationship threat: The benefits and costs of inducing guilt in romantic partners. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 235-256. DOI: 10.1037/a0034371 [Download PDF]

Overall, N.C. & Lemay, E.P. (2015). Attachment and dyadic regulation processes. In J.A. Simpson and W.S. Rholes (Eds.), Attachment Theory and Research: New Directions and Emerging Themes. New York: Guilford.

Peters, B.J., Overall, N. C., & Jamieson, J.P. (2014). Physiological and cognitive consequences of suppressing and expressing emotion in dyadic interactions. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 94, 100-107. DOI:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2014.07.015  [Download PDF]

Overall, N.C., Simpson, J.A., & Struthers, H. (2013). Buffering attachment avoidance: Softening emotional and behavioral defenses during conflict discussions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104, 854-871. DOI: 10.1037/a0031798  [Download PDF]

Lemay, E. P., Jr., Overall, N. C., & Clark, M. S. (2012). Experiences and interpersonal consequences of hurt feelings and anger. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103, 982-1006. DOI: 10.1037/a0030064  [Download PDF]

Watch this space … we have many more studies that will soon be published examining emotion regulation processes.