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Table 3 Strategies identified for the regulation of negative emotion across all transcripts

From: Exploration of emotion regulation experiences associated with borderline personality features in a non-clinical sample

ER strategy Definition Example Evidence sourcea
Problem solve Taking action to attempt to alter an emotion eliciting situation in order to change its emotional impact. ‘The last few years of my marriage I was sad that the situation had got where it had…..I tried to make recompense and save the marriage…’ (P30) H = 46.15 %, L = 62.50 %
Avoidance The deliberate attempt to avoid an emotion or situation causing emotion by removal of self, deployment of attention, or emotion escape via substance use. ‘If I get like really angry like for example in a dispute or argument with a certain person I will prefer to just walk away…’ (P15) H = 100 %, L = 100 %
Emotional Expression The deliberate outward projection of emotion via emotional behaviour, physical exercise or verbal communication. ‘You feel like the need to express it so for me I for me I would say something to the person that had frustrated me’ (P18) H = 84.62, L = 87.50 %
Emotion Suppression The effortful action of hiding behavioural displays of internal emotional states from others. ‘I tried to hide it [sadness]. Just I dunno I was trying to be strong’ (P20) H = 46.15 %, L = 37.50 %
Rumination A persistent focus on past negative situations and negative aspects of self and on their possible causes and negative consequences. ‘I just get angry and I don’t know, just keep thinking about it again and again, it’s kinda like trying to find a solution to a possible problem’ (P8) H = 46.15 %, L = 50 %
Reappraisal Deliberately changing how one thinks about an emotional situation (in the presence of emotion) to alter its emotional impact. ‘I did look on the bright side of it, to know that they weren’t in pain any more, to know that they weren’t hurting. So I was thankful for that’(P9) H = 92.31 %, L = 93.75 %
passive/helpless The awareness of an emotion whilst making no conscious effort to influence it. ‘I don’t tend to [regulate negative emotions] I just wait until something better comes along’ (P19) H = 46.15 %, L = 50 %
  1. Note: aIndicates the % of transcripts from the high (H) and low (L) BPF groups that provide evidence for each strategy