Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Veilleux, Jennifer

Committee Member/Reader

Makhanova, Anastasia

Committee Member/Second Reader

Payne, Whitney

Committee Member/Third Reader

Bustamante, Juan Jose


Close relationships are of immense importance to personal well-being, and regulating emotions after interpersonal conflict is essential to promoting relationship stability and mental health. Across two studies, we examined if individual differences (self-criticism) would interact with situational context (relationship factors) to predict emotion regulation use following relationship conflict. In Study 1 (n = 177), we hypothesized self-criticism would predict maladaptive emotion regulation (etc., rumination, withdrawal) and that these associations would be greater in romantic relationships than friendships. Participants completed a self-criticism measure and were randomly assigned to describe a conflict in either a romantic relationship or friendship. They then rated their negative emotions and the emotion regulation strategies used following the conflict. Results revealed that high self-criticism predicted greater use of maladaptive emotion regulation strategies, but relationship type did not affect strategy use. In Study 2 (n = 315), we focused on relationship factors (i.e., closeness, importance, etc.) instead of relationship type. Results revealed that self-criticism was associated with greater maladaptive regulation and lower adaptive strategies. Also, independent from self-criticism and negative emotion, greater relationship satisfaction and emotional vulnerability predicted greater adaptive emotion regulation; greater emotion invalidation from a conflict partner predicted greater maladaptive regulation use; and greater relationship importance predicted greater adaptive strategy use and cognitive focus. Contrary to our hypotheses, self-criticism did not moderate these effects. Future research might seek to explore causal relationships and underlying reasons for the effects of self-criticism and relationship factors on emotion regulation use (e.g., regulation motives).


emotion regulation, close relationships, self-criticism, conflict, emotions, individual differences