Flexible emotional regulation typology: associations with PTSD symptomology and trait resilience

Eric Spikol, Emily McGlinchey, Martin Robinson, Cherie Armour

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Multiple factors influence posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) risk in trauma exposed individuals. An established association exists between trait resilience and decreased PTSD distress and between emotion regulation (ER) ability/flexibility and trait resilience. Typologies in ER ability/flexibility, associated with trait resilience and PTSD experience, could explain the difference in risk. This study aimed to explore the relationship between ER ability, ER flexibility, context sensitivity, resilience, and PTSD.

Data from N = 563 trauma exposed UK residents was used in a latent profile analysis (LPA) and membership in the resultant profiles was explored in a logistic regression of sociodemographics, resilience, and PTSD symptomology.

Analysis showed 2 latent profiles (High Flexibility, Low Flexibility) typified by emotion regulation ability and context sensitivity. Members of the Low Flexibility profile were more likely to be younger, male, endorsing less trait resilience, and experiencing negative cognition/mood and hyperarousal PTSD symptomology.

Difficulties in ER ability and flexibility could be improved with targeted learning in a therapeutic or home setting, potentially increasing trait resilience after trauma exposure and reducing PTSD distress.
Original languageEnglish
Article number79
JournalBMC Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date16 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished online - 16 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


  • Resilience
  • PTSD
  • Emotion regulation
  • Flexibility
  • Emotion regulation sequence


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