Mental Toughness (MT) provides crucial psychological capacities for achievement in sports, education, and work settings. Previous research examined the role of MT in the domain of mental health and showed that MT is negatively associated with and predictive of fewer depressive symptoms in nonclinical populations. The present study aimed at (1) investigating to what extent mentally tough individuals use two emotion regulation strategies: cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression; (2) exploring whether individual differences in emotion regulation strategy use mediate the relationship between MT and depressive symptoms. Three hundred sixty-four participants (M = 24.31 years, SD = 9.16) provided self-reports of their levels of MT, depressive symptoms, and their habitual use of cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression. The results showed a statistically significant correlation between MT and two commonly used measures of depressive symptoms. A small statistically significant positive correlation between MT and the habitual use of cognitive reappraisal was also observed. The correlation between MT and the habitual use of expressive suppression was statistically significant, but the size of the effect was small. A statistical mediation model indicated that individual differences in the habitual use of expressive suppression mediate the relationship between MT and depressive symptoms. No such effect was found for the habitual use of cognitive reappraisal. Implications of these findings and possible avenues for future research are discussed.
Mutz, J., Clough, P., & Papageorgiou, K. A. (2017). Do Individual Differences in Emotion Regulation Mediate the Relationship Between Mental Toughness and Symptoms of Depression? Journal of Individual Differences, 38(2), 71-82. https://doi.org/10.1027/1614-0001/a000224