The preliminary development of a measure to assess attitudes towards emotional expression

Stephen Joseph, Ruth Williams, Paul Irwing, Tommy Cammock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has been suggested that attitudes towards emotional expression constitute one vulnerability factor for psychological disorder following the experience of a stressful life-event. However, although there has been much research on what are thought to be dysfunctional attitudes, no suitable measure currently exists with which to test this prediction. The aim of the present study, therefore, was to construct a measure of negative cognitions and behaviours concerning emotional expression. Psychometric data are presented on a 20-item scale with high internal reliability (Cronbach's alpha = 0.90). Convergent validity of the scale was demonstrated by an examination of its association with seeking social support (r= - 0.46), in a sample of 180 undergraduates. Four second order factors were also identified: one behavioural coping style subscale (e.g. 'when I'm upset I bottle up my feelings'); and 3 cognitive subscales to do with; (1) the meaning (e.g. 'turning to someone else for advice or help is a sign of weakness'), (2) the expression (e.g. 'I should always have complete control over my feelings'), and (3) the consequences (e.g. 'my bad feelings will harm other people if I express them') of showing emotions. © 1994.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)869-875
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1994


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