Emotion Regulation Strategies, COVID-19 Induced Psychological Distress, and Psychological Well-being in Pakistan

Main Article Content

Sahira Zaman
Fatima Abid
Yumna Bilal


The world is not the same after the COVID-19 pandemic hit in December 2019. The present study investigated the role of emotion regulation (ER) strategies (expressive suppression and cognitive reappraisal) between COVID-19-induced psychological distress and psychological well-being among students during the lockdown. This study hypothesized that COVID-19-induced psychological distress reduces the student’s psychological well-being, and ER strategies mediate this association. A quantitative survey research design was used for collecting data from 300 students in different departments of a public university in Pakistan. The results indicated that COVID-19-induced psychological distress significantly decrease students' psychological well-being (b= -.38, t = -15.02, p < .001) during the lockdown period in Pakistan. Both ER strategies found a complete statistically significant mediation between this distress and students' psychological well-being. Cognitive reappraisal had a slightly more positive indirect effect (a*b = .08, Bootstrap CI95 = .03 and .12) on COVID-19 induced psychological distress and psychological well-being than expressive suppression (a*b = .07, Bootstrap CI95 = .01 and .04). It is concluded that mental health can be better looked after by using better emotion regulation strategies. Thus, this study contributes to the behavioral sciences knowledge by iterating that emotional regulation improves the mental health of individuals in these difficult circumstances. The strength of using thought restructuring through cognitive reappraisal is a better strategy for dealing with distress in the pandemic. These findings contribute to behavioral science knowledge and understanding of emotion regulation in mitigating psychological distress and enhancing well-being during this pandemic and beyond.

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Zaman, S., Abid, F., & Bilal, Y. (2021). Emotion Regulation Strategies, COVID-19 Induced Psychological Distress, and Psychological Well-being in Pakistan. The Journal of Behavioral Science, 16(3), 27–41. Retrieved from https://so06.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/IJBS/article/view/251637
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