An Experimental Vignette Study: The Moderating Role of History of Maternal Guilt- Induction on Emotion Regulation in Young Adults
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Parental guilt-induction has been found to be a need frustrating factor for children and have detrimental effects on emotion regulation later in life. There is an ongoing debate about whether individuals who have need frustrating experience are more sensitive and vulnerable to related psychosocial experiences. The current study explored the causal effects of history of guilt- induction and emotion regulation, after encountering the guilt-induction or autonomy-support vignette in young adults. Participants who completed the online survey (N=342, Mage = 21.92; SDage = 3.23, 67.5% female) which included the history of maternal guilt induction scale, were randomly allocated to one of the conditions (i.e., autonomy-support, guilt-induction with/without warmth). After reading the vignette, participants filled out the emotion regulation scale in response to the vignette. Results demonstrated that a history of guilt-induction was found to be positively associated with suppression and dysregulation, whereas no significant associations were found with integration. Moreover, it was found that young adults who were in the autonomy-supportive vignette condition and scored higher on history of maternal guilt-induction engaged more with emotional suppression compared to the other group who read the guilt-inducing vignette. On the contrary, young adults who were in the guilt-inducing vignette condition and scored lower on history of maternal guilt-induction engaged more with emotional suppression compared to those who read the autonomy-supportive vignette. Lastly, participants who read the guilt-induction vignette scored significantly higher on emotion dysregulation than those who did not. Current study explored the uncharted effects of maternal guilt-induction on young adults’ emotion regulation ability.