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The relationship between fear of compassion, attitudes towards emotional expression and subjective well-being among a community adult sample

Harris, Duncan (2017) The relationship between fear of compassion, attitudes towards emotional expression and subjective well-being among a community adult sample. Other thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Proponents of positive psychology advocate that it is the absence of distress combined with the presence of positive functioning that is reflective of good mental health and well-being (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2014). There is consensus within the theoretical schools of well-being that the capacity to freely experience and express emotion is important to subjective well-being (Ryan & Deci, 2001; Ryff & Singer, 1998). Fear of Compassion (FoC; Gilbert et al., 2014) and Attitudes towards Emotional Expression (AEE; Joseph, 1994) are two transdiagnostic concepts related to distress and the ability to experience and express emotion in a healthy manner. The relationships between these concepts and subjective well-being were explored for the first time in a community sample of 331 adults aged between 18 and 89 who completed the AEE questionnaire (Joseph et al., 1994), FoC scales (Gilbert et al., 2014), Positive and Negative Affect Scales (Watson, Lee, & Tellegen, 1988), and Positive Functioning Inventory (PFI; Joseph & Maltby, 2014). Correlations revealed that more negative AEE and greater fears of compassion were associated with lower levels of subjective well-being. Partial correlations and multiple regressions provided evidence that FoC and AEE explain unique variance in subjective well-being. Thus, whilst both concepts relate to the processing, and expression of, emotions, they appear to act through different mechanisms. It is suggested that FoC and AEE may map on to different aspects of the Cognitive-Experiential Self-Theory (CEST; Epstein, 2003), with FoC proposed to map onto the emotional-cognitive experiential system and AEE suggested to map onto the cognitive rational system. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed; for example, the utility of AEE and FoC to both distress and subjective well-being, and the value in conceptualising mental health on a single continuum as done by the PFI (Joseph & Maltby, 2014).

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Duncan Harris
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2017 08:24
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2017 08:24
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/19761

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