Sex moderates the relationship between resting heart rate variability and self-reported difficulties in emotion regulation.

Williams, DeWayne P.; Tracy, Lincoln M.; Gerardo, Gina M.; Rahman, Tia; Spangler, Derek P.; Koenig, Julian; Thayer, Julian F. (2019). Sex moderates the relationship between resting heart rate variability and self-reported difficulties in emotion regulation. Emotion, 19(6), pp. 992-1001. American Psychological Association 10.1037/emo0000500

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Lower resting vagally mediated heart rate variability (HRV) is thought to reflect poorer function of the neurophysiological pathways underlying emotion regulation (ER) and thus, poorer ER abilities. Sex differences in resting HRV exists such that women typically exhibit higher resting HRV than men. It is proposed that greater HRV in women reflects compensation for greater negative affect such as anxiety and depression. However, research has not yet investigated how the association between resting HRV and every day perceived difficulties in ER may be moderated by sex. The current study sought to test this in a sample of 362 young participants (207 females, mean age of 19). Resting HRV was assessed during a 5-min baseline period using an electrocardiogram. Participants then completed the 36-item Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS) designed to evaluate participant's daily difficulties in ER. Controlling for several covariates, sex significantly moderated the relationship between resting HRV and ER difficulties, such that women showed a much stronger relationship compared with men. Specifically, women with lower HRV reported greater difficulties in ER compared with men with lower HRV, whereas women with higher HRV reported slightly lesser difficulties in ER compared with all men. Overall, this study supports a deeper understanding of how neurophysiological differences in ER between men and women-as indexed by resting HRV-may contribute to how effectively individuals regulate their emotions on a day-to-day basis, with implications for well-being. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Research Division

UniBE Contributor:

Koenig, Julian

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

1528-3542

Publisher:

American Psychological Association

Language:

English

Submitter:

Chantal Michel

Date Deposited:

02 Dec 2019 16:08

Last Modified:

02 Dec 2019 16:08

Publisher DOI:

10.1037/emo0000500

PubMed ID:

30475032

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/135641

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