Cross-Cultural Differences in Cognitive Emotion Regulation Strategies: a Comparison Between six European Countries
S. Potthoff1, N. Garnefski1, V. Kraaij1, M. Mónika2, A. Ubbiali3, F. Domínguez-Sánchez4, E. Martins5, N. Loch6, M. Witthöft6
1Leiden University
2Eötvös Loránd University
3Psyche-Dendron Association
4Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia
5Instituto Superior da Maia
6University of Mainz
Background: Use of cognitive emotion regulation strategies (CERS) in response to stressful life events varies by country, though research has been limited to Americans and Asians. We aimed to compare six European countries to investigate cross-cultural differences in the use of CERS and test if the relationship between specific strategies and psychopathology varies across countries. Methods: Participants were recruited from the Netherlands, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Germany (N=1553) and completed cross-cultural measures of cognitive emotion regulation using the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (CERQ), depression and anxiety. Results: We found significant differences on all the subscales of the CERQ: northern European countries made less use of strategies related to maladjustment than southern European countries. The direction of the relationships between specific strategies and symptoms of psychopathology was consistent across countries. Discussion: Although there were culture-related differences in the use of CERS, the consistent relationship between strategies and psychopathology supports the idea of a transdiagnostic approach to treating psychopathology.