Mearns, J. (1991). Coping with a breakup: Negative mood regulation expectancies and
depression following the end of a romantic relationship. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology, 60, 327-334.
Three studies investigated the impact of negative mood regulation (NMR) expectancies on depression in individuals who had recently experienced the end of a romantic relationship. Study 1 used a cross-sectional design to examine the ability of the NMR Scale to predict depression in the first week following a romantic breakup. Longitudinal data were presented in Study 2 on whether the NMR Scale predicted changes in depression over a period of a month following that breakup. Study 3 investigated the ability of the NMR Scale to prospectively predict initial depression after the subsequent end of a romantic relationship. Results suggested that individuals with higher expectancies for negative mood regulation become less depressed initially after a relationship ends. They were also more likely to engage in active coping than individuals with lower expectancies. These findings were also observed prospectively, when the relationship ended up to six months after subjects had taken the NMR Scale. Results of the three studies supported the predictive validity of this instrument, and added further evidence of the discriminant validity of negative mood regulation expectancies as a distinct construct from depression.