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Moderating role of emotion expression between secure and fragile self-esteem and self-regulation under ego-threat

Şahin, Seda Merve
Low self-esteem is commonly seen as the cause of negative outcomes though recent work has demonstrated that high self-esteem can also lead many negative outcomes including self-regulation failure under certain conditions. Especially those with fragile high self-esteem (vs. secure high self-esteem) tend to show poor selfregulation if they experience ego-threat. However, it has been left unexplored whether or not the capacity to self-regulate change when individuals who are experiencing ego threat are given an opportunity to express their emotions. Moreover, it is unknown how the effects of emotion expression would differ among those with secure vs. fragile self-esteem. The current thesis aims to examine the moderating role of emotion expression between individuals with high vs. low global self-esteem, and those with secure and fragile self-esteem, and self-regulation under ego-threat manipulation. The method was presented in detail. The results showed that self-esteem and emotion expression were not related to self-regulation. However, among individuals who expressed their emotions, self-esteem stability was not associated with self-regulation failure, whereas for those who did not express their emotions, self-esteem stability predicted self-regulation failure. Explanatory analyses revealed that gender differences are critical factor on the relationship v between self-esteem and emotional expression. Men with low self-esteem had less self-regulation failure than men with high self-esteem when they express their emotions under ego-threat manipulation. However, self-esteem and emotion expression were not related to self-regulation failure. The implication of findings as well as the contribution of the study to the current work in ego threat and selfregulation were discussed.