From Mindful Attention to Social Connection: The Key Role of Emotion Regulation
Cognition and Emotion
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2014
Pages: 1466 - 1474
Source ID: shanti-sources-113691
Collection: Social Connection and Well-being
Abstract: Effective emotion regulation is important for high-quality social functioning. Recent laboratory-based evidence suggests that mindfulness may enhance emotion regulation in socioemotional contexts; however, little is known about mindful emotion regulation during in vivo social interactions. In a study of romantic couples, we assessed each partner's mindfulness and top-down attentional efficiency (with an Emotional Go/No-Go task) prior to sampling emotions and perceived connection with others during day-to-day social interactions. Analyses revealed that mindfulness-related differences in top-down attentional efficiency on the Emotional Go/No-Go predicted positive emotion during daily social interactions. In turn, positive emotion and two additional indices of social emotion regulation each mediated the relation between actor mindfulness and perceived social connection. In corresponding analyses, neither trait reappraisal nor suppression use predicted the outcomes, and all mindfulness relations held controlling for these strategies. Findings support a framework for investigating mindfulness and higher-quality social functioning, for which mindful emotion regulation may be key.