The Mediating Effects of Self-Esteem on Anxiety and Emotion Regulation.
Fernandes B., Newton J., Essau CA.
Individuals with anxiety disorders maladaptively appraise interpersonal threat cues leading to inaccurate interpretations of the self and others. However, little is known about the factors that mediate this association, therefore, the main aim of this study was to examine the relationship between state and trait anxiety, self-esteem, and emotion regulation strategies: reappraisal and suppression. Young adults aged between 18-26 years participated in the study. They completed a set of self-reports measuring emotion regulation, self-esteem, state-trait anxiety, and positive and negative attributes. Participants also completed an experimental task, using the dot-probe paradigm, which measures threat bias and response inhibition. The findings showed that trait and state anxiety predicted suppression, reappraisal, and internalising problems, and is linked to response inhibition. Importantly, low self-esteem, significantly mediated the relationship between increased anxiety and suppression. Taken together, these results show specific associations between emotion regulation and anxiety, highlighting the significant impact of self-esteem in young adults.