Emotional Suppression and Psychological Well-Being in Marriage: The Role of Regulatory Focus and Spousal Behavior

Unji An, Haeyoung Gideon Park, Da Eun Han, Young Hoon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Emotional suppression has been considered a critical factor in determining one’s mental health and psychological well-being in intimate relationships such as marriage. The present study aimed to delineate the nuanced association between emotional suppression and psychological well-being in marriage by considering two critical factors: (a) individual differences in motivational orientation and (b) the perceived level of a partner’s emotional suppression. A set of two online survey studies were conducted on a large sample of married participants. The participants were asked to indicate (a) their own level of emotional suppression, (b) the perceived level of their spouse’s emotional suppression, (c) relationship motivation, and (d) satisfaction with marital life. The results consistently indicated that for prevention-focused individuals being emotionally suppressive was associated with greater marital satisfaction, but only for those who perceived their spouses as also emotionally suppressive. Conversely, for promotion-focused individuals, being less emotionally suppressive was associated with greater marital satisfaction, but again, only for those who perceived their spouses as also being less emotionally suppressive. These findings provide insights into research on emotion regulation and self-regulatory strategies in influencing psychological well-being and mental health in an intimate relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Article number973
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by the Yonsei University Research Grant of 2021 (2021-22-0216).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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