Alexis Bizupic, a senior neuroscience major, and Sarah Maloy, a senior psychology major, both presented at the 31st Association for Psychological Science's Annual Convention, held from May 23-26 in Washington DC. Both students presented their honors program projects.
Bizupic’s presentation was entitled “Relationships Between Emotion Regulation Ability and Stress Management.” Her work explored the use of coping strategies and its relationship to reappraisal and suppression.
“Reappraisal is a way that people deal with their emotions, including reframing a situation in your head to think more positively about it,” Bizupic said. “Suppression is subduing emotions and not allowing an individual to think about what they're feeling. Reappraisal is thought to be healthier, and by looking at relationships between coping mechanisms and the use of either reappraisal or suppression, we could see what coping mechanisms were good or bad.”
The research examined whether certain behaviors or actions, such as substance abuse, would more closely align to reappraisal or suppression.
“One of the correlations we found that surprised us was a correlation between humor and suppression,” Bizupic said. “We predicted humor to be a positive coping mechanism, but based on our population, it was not. We looked at humor as a subjective coping mechanism and could see how it would be both harmful and beneficial to individuals.”
Maloy’s research was entitled "The Impact of Sleep Quality on Coping" and investigated the level of sleep quality among college students and whether or not it was connected to their use of coping strategies.
“As predicted, it was found that use of negative coping styles was more prevalent in those who had a poorer quality of sleep,” Maloy said. “Additionally, there were some significant results for other styles of coping that were not anticipated, such as humor and religion. Humor was found to be a more prevalent coping mechanism for those with poorer sleep quality and religion was found to be more prevalent in those with greater sleep quality. These results imply that sleep quality is not only essential for overall physical and mental health, but also for overcoming everyday difficulties.”