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Negative Emotion and Coping Responses within Identity Control Theory

Jan E. Stets and Teresa M. Tsushima
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 64, No. 3 (Sep., 2001), pp. 283-295
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3090117
Page Count: 13
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Negative Emotion and Coping Responses within Identity Control Theory
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Abstract

We examine the role of emotion in recent developments in identity control theory using individuals' reports of anger in the 1996 General Social Survey "emotions" module. We find that group-based identities, which are more intimate, are associated with more intense anger while role-based identities, which are less intimate, are related to anger that lasts longer. Further, identities carry a certain amount of power; persons with a low-status identity report more intense and longer-lasting anger. We also examine how individuals cope with their anger. Group-based identities are more likely to be associated with cognitive responses, while role-based identities are more likely to be associated with behavioral responses. These results develop identity control theory beyond its current scope by proposing that different identities are related to the different dimensions of negative emotion and the different ways in which people cope with their feelings.

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