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Positive Emotion and Relationships in the Latinx Community: The Influence of Positive Emotions on Feelings of Trust and Closeness to Others

  • Author(s): Hawley, Kathryn Jean
  • Advisor(s): Conoley, Collie W
  • et al.
Abstract

Two studies examined the relationship between positive emotions and relational processes in a Latinx sample. Study 1 utilized an exploratory, descriptive design to investigate the relationship between positive emotions and the relational processes of trust in others and felt sense of closeness to others. Participants were recruited to complete a survey through Amazon Mechanical Turk (mTurk), an online research platform. One-hundred participants completed the survey. All participants identified as Latinx or Hispanic. Seventy percent of the sample self- identified as men and thirty percent self-identified as women. The average participant age was 32.47 years. Correlation analyses revealed a significant positive association between positive emotion and trust in others. Correlation analyses also revealed a significant positive association between positive emotion and felt sense of closeness to others. Moderation analyses revealed that levels of relational interdependence did not moderate these relationships. However, in the case of closeness to others, entering relational interdependence into the regression cause the relationship between positive emotion and closeness to others to become non-significant. The results suggest that positive emotion may covary with trust in the Latinx community, across a diverse range of levels of relational interdependence. Results also suggest that closeness to others may be a more stable construct than trust in others. Clinical and research implications are discussed.

Study 2 utilized an experimental design to investigate the ability of two different interventions, Gratitude and Self-Affirmation, to induce positive emotion in a Latinx sample for the purpose of increasing trust in others when compared to a Control condition. Participants were recruited to complete a survey that included a manipulation through mTurk. Two-hundred and thirty-seven participants participated in the experiment. All participants identified as Latinx or Hispanic. Sixty-five percent of the sample self-identified as men, 33 percent self-identified as women, and .4 percent self-identified as agender. The average participant age was 31.07 years. Multivariate analyses of variance revealed that both Gratitude and Self-Affirmation were effective in significantly increasing positive emotion when compared to the Control condition. Interestingly, the Gratitude condition significantly increased trust in others while the self-affirmation condition did not. Multiple regression analyses revealed that positive emotion partially mediated this relationship. Clinical and research implications are discussed.

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