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Lisanne Pauw and Rui Sun published a paper on the effectiveness of different interpersonal emotion regulation strategies in fostering emotional and relational wellbeing among romantic partners.

Former AICE members Lisanne Pauw (currently assistant professor at Utrecht University), Rui Sun (currently postdoctoral researcher at Chicago Booth Business School) and colleagues published a paper examining the relationship between various interpersonal emotion regulation strategies and emotional and relational wellbeing among romantic partners.


People often get support from others in regulating their emotions, a phenomenon known as interpersonal emotion regulation (IER). However, the relative effectiveness of specific IER strategies for improving emotional and relational wellbeing in daily life is unclear. Here, we report two preregistered, ecological momentary assessment studies, in which we examined how the use of six key IER strategies relates to emotional and relational wellbeing among romantic couples in daily life. Study 1 focused on enacted IER as reported by the regulator, whereas Study 2 focused on perceived IER as reported by the regulated partner. Using a dyadic experience sampling design (6 beeps/day for 7 days), Study 1 (N = 136) showed that when people reported to have given advice or encouraged their partner to suppress their emotions, their partners experienced impaired emotional wellbeing. When people reported to have distracted their partner, their partner experienced enhanced positive affect and felt closer to their partner. The use of interpersonal reappraisal, acceptance and ignoring was unrelated to partners’ momentary wellbeing. Using a dyadic daily diary design (1 beep/day for 12 days), Study 2 (N = 361) showed that perceptions of one’s emotions being ignored by the partner were associated with impaired emotional and relational wellbeing on the same day. The perceived use of other IER strategies was unrelated to momentary wellbeing. Taken together, the present set of studies illuminates how IER processes shape people’s emotions and relationships in ecologically valid settings. Our findings indicate that enacted and perceived regulatory behaviors are associated with differential outcomes, highlighting the complex nature of interpersonal emotion dynamics.