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date: 14 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Coping through emotional approach is a construct involving two component processes, both conceptualized as intentional attempts to manage demands during stressful experiences: emotional processing (i.e., attempts to acknowledge, explore, and understand emotions) and emotional expression (i.e., verbal and/or nonverbal efforts to communicate or symbolize emotional experience). Recent cross-sectional, longitudinal, and experimental research reveals that when assessed with indicators that are not confounded with distress or self-deprecatory content, emotional processing and expression can promote well-being and health during a range of stressful circumstances. The nature of the stressor and concomitant cognitive appraisals, the interpersonal context, and individual differences condition the effects of coping through emotional approach. Mechanisms for the utility of coping through emotional approach are being specified. An understanding of who benefits from coping through emotional approach in which contexts and how these effects accrue will require continued integration of findings from stress and coping research, emotion science, and clinical intervention trials. Such research will inform clinical interventions directed toward enhancing emotion regulation skills.

Keywords: emotion, emotional approach, coping, stress, emotion regulation

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