Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Grych, John H.

Second Advisor

Hoelzle, James B.


Trauma survivors are at a high risk for developing symptoms of posttraumatic stress (PTS) and often experience difficulties with emotion regulation. However, there is no clear understanding of how multiple strategies may be used to effectively regulate PTS. The current study evaluates participants' use of six different strategies and investigates whether a specific profile of emotion regulation (i.e., the individual's default pattern of regulation, determined by the frequency with which s/he uses different strategies from a regulation inventory) is related to PTS. Results of a hierarchical cluster analysis indicated that four profiles of emotion regulation were present in the current sample: Adaptive Regulation, Active Regulation, Detached Regulation, and Maladaptive Regulation. Each profile was characterized by distinctly different use of the six emotion regulation strategies. Further analyses indicated that an individual's regulatory profile had the power to differentiate and predict PTS symptom severity. However, the regulatory profiles did not moderate the relationship between the frequency of past trauma and PTS severity. Some implications are discussed for understanding how a larger constellation of regulatory strategies, and the relationships between them, might serve as risk or protective factors in the development and treatment of PTS symptoms.