Expressive Suppression and Emotion Regulation Difficulties Among Hypertensive Patients and Normal Individuals

Author: Shaista Naheed

Supervisor: Sadia Rana Dildar & Rukhsana Kausar, Ph.D

Degree: BS

Year: 2010-2014

University: Institute of Applied Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


The current study aims at comparing expressive suppression and emotion
regulation difficulties of primary and secondary hypertensive patients with
normal individuals. Between group research design was used to compare
the three groups (primary hypertensive patients, secondary hypertensive
patients and normal individuals). The total sample consisted
of 210 adult participant including 70 individuals (men and women) in each
group. Primary hypertensive group consisted of 31 men and 39 women of
mean age 50 (SD = 13.01). Secondary hypertensive group (n =
70) included 34 men and 36 women of mean age 53 (SD = 8.51) while
third group of normal individuals (n = 70) consisted of 37 men and 33
women of mean age 50 (SD = 13.37). Research instruments included
Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (Gratz & Roemer, 2004),
Difficulty Describing Feelings Subscale of Toronto Alexithymia Scale
(Bagby, Parker, & Taylor, 1994), Expressive Suppression Subscale of
Emotion Regulation Scale (Gross & John, 2003). One Way ANOVA was
performed to identify the differences among three groups on emotion
regulation difficulties, expressive suppression and alexithymia. The results
indicated that there were significant differences between hypertensive
(primary and secondary) patients and normal individuals with regard to
emotion regulation difficulties. Hypertensive patients reported
significantly more emotion regulation difficulties, expression suppression
and difficulties in describing emotions. No significant differences were
found in patients with primary and secondary hypertension. These findings
will be helpful for health psychologists as well as counselors in planning
treatment for hypertensive patients.

Keywords: Suppression, Emotion, Hypertension, Alexithymia.

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Corresponding Address: Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Email:, Phone: 92-42-9231245

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