Objective: Goal pursuit may involve setbacks likely to elicit negative emotions. To continue pursuing the goal, an individual may need to regulate those emotions. In this study, we compared the unique contributions of two emotion regulation styles, integrative emotion regulation (IER) and suppressive emotion regulation (SER), to goal pursuit processes. We tested the hypotheses that IER and SER would be differentially related to goal progress and goal-related effort and goal-related depressed mood would mediate those relations. Method: 255 Israeli participants completed five web questionnaires at two-week intervals. We examined the mediation hypothesis using multilevel structural equation modeling. Results: At the within-person level, increases in IER predicted increases in goal progress at a given time point through increases in goal-related effort, while increases in SER predicted decreases in goal progress through increases in goal-related depressed mood. At the between-persons level, participants with higher IER reported more goal progress; this effect was mediated by goal-related effort. Participants with higher SER reported lower goal progress; this effect was mediated by higher goal-related depressed mood. The findings held after controlling for such factors as participants' perceived goal competence, goal stress, sex, and age. Conclusions: IER promotes goal pursuit, but SER impedes it.
- goal progress
- goal-related depressed mood
- goal-related effort
- integrative emotion regulation
- personal goal pursuit
- suppressive emotion regulation