In order to investigate the relationship between stress-reactive rumination and the implementation of different emotion-regulation strategies (ERS), the pilot study at hand assessed ecological momentary assessment data twice per day from currently depressed patients (n = 21) and healthy controls (n = 23).
We analyzed differences in the implementation of ERS (body-based, behavioral, cognitive, social and multiple) and the occurrence of stress, rumination and self-efficacy between the groups as well as associations of ERS implementation at a given time-point and later levels of stress and rumination.
Overall, patients reported higher subjective stress levels as well as increased ruminative thinking as a response to life stress and, in addition, a more frequent implementation of ERS. Comparing the implementation of ERS, cognitive ERS were implemented most often in the clinical group in comparison to healthy controls. All ERS were associated with increased self-efficacy at the time-point they were implemented. The implementation of cognitive ERS (e.g., reframing) at a given time-point significantly predicted reduced rumination and stress at later time-points.
Clinical and non-clinical groups seem to differ in their implementation of ERS. While the implementation of all investigated ERS is related to increased coping-efficacy, ERS on a cognitive level seem to be advantageous in reducing stress as well as rumination.