Emotion differentiation and negative emotional states: the mediating role of perceived academic control and the moderated effect of intrinsic motivation

Silvina Maria Zapata, Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

University students experience academic pressure, fatigue, and changes in their everyday and social lives during their transition into college. This study explored variables that influenced first-year students’ stress, anxiety, and depression at a university in Chile. The remnant of long-term social unrest, which emerged at the end of the dictatorship in 1990, has lasted for more than three decades. It is present in the education sector and might reflect the negative emotional states that Chilean students still experience. In this way, students' capacity to distinguish and to regulate stress, anxiety, and depression is crucial, especially in contexts where intense negative emotional states occur; thus, more research is needed to achieve a richer understanding in academic settings. The study involved testing hypotheses over 6 months to undertake a regression-based path analysis using simple mediation and moderated mediation analysis. Results revealed that students’ perceptions of their academic control mediated the relationship between their factor differentiation of emotional experiences and stress, anxiety, and depression. The indirect effect was statistically significantly moderated by intrinsic motivation. Consequently, the effect of their ability to differentiate emotions on stress, anxiety, and depression through the mediator changed due to the levels of intrinsic motivation. Implications and recommendations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Factor differentiation
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Negative emotional states
  • Perceived academic control
  • University students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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