Kirsch, I., Mearns, J., & Catanzaro, S. J. (1990). Mood-regulation expectancies as
determinants of dysphoria in college students. Journal of Counseling Psychology,
This study addressed two major issues: (1) Mood-regulation expectancies as determinants of coping behavior, and (2) expectancies' having a direct impact on dysphoric mood. Findings strongly supported mood-regulation expectancies as determinants of coping behavior. They also indicated that expectancies have a direct impact on dysphoric mood, independent of actual coping strategies used; in fact, expectancies were the single best predictor of dysphoria. Therefore, at least as important as how individuals try to cope with stressful events is their confidence that their attempts at coping will be successful. If individuals do not believe their coping efforts will succeed, they may invest little effort in coping, thus making successful coping unlikely. The authors recommended that counselors and therapists focus on raising negative mood regulation expectancies as a way of enhancing clients' adjustment.