The role of frontal-subcortical connectivity in the relation between coping styles and reactivity and downregulation of negative emotion

Xiaoqin Wang, Scott D Blain, Dongtao Wei, Wenjing Yang, Junyi Yang, Kaixiang Zhuang, Li He, Colin G. DeYoung, Jiang Qiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Coping styles (CS) reflect individuals' habitual use of strategies for coping with negative events in daily life. Although research into coping has not reached consistent agreement about classifying coping strategies as either inherently adaptive or maladaptive, the influence of maladaptive CS on mental health is noticeable. CS might also be related to emotion regulation and associated brain systems. Participants (N = 165) completed measurements of CS, trait emotions including trait anxiety, depressive symptoms and happiness and then performed an emotion regulation task, in conjunction with functional MRI. Individual differences in maladaptive CS use were associated with higher trait negative emotionality and higher state reactivity of negative emotion. Concurrent bilateral amygdala-right middle frontal gyrus (MFG) connectivity during passive negative stimulus processing mediated the relation between maladaptive CS and negative emotion ratings. Psychophysiological interaction analyses showed that maladaptive and adaptive CS were linked to patterns of frontal-subcortical connectivity during state emotion regulation. These results suggest that maladaptive CS might be related to negative emotion processing and weaker spontaneous regulation and indicate that maladaptive CS is a risk factor in individual mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105631
JournalBrain and Cognition
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 31470981 ; 31571137 ; 31500885 ; 31600878 ; 31771231 ), Natural Science Foundation of Chongqing ( cstc2015jcyjA10106 ). Scott Blain was supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program ( 1348264 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • Amygdala
  • Emotion regulation
  • Generalized psychophysiological interaction
  • Maladaptive coping styles
  • Prefrontal cortex

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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