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Vol 20, No 2 (2023)
Research paper
Published online: 2023-06-15
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Using fantasizing to feel more positive emotions may lead to adverse effects: Preliminary psychometric properties of the Polish version of the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire-Fantasizing

Paweł Larionow1, Natalia Pilarska1, Karolina Mudło-Głagolska1
Psychiatria 2023;20(2):78-88.


Introduction: This study aims to (1) examine the factorial structure, validity, and internal consistency reliability of a 6-item Polish version of the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire-Fantasizing (ERQ–F) for measuring an extent to which people habitually use daydreaming or fantasizing as a strategy to regulate their emotions; (2) examine the role of fantasizing for a mental health status in a Polish community sample. Material and methods: Our sample consisted of 918 Polish adults (660 females and 258 males) aged 18–77 (M = = 26.23, SD = 11.73). The ERQ–F factor structure was assessed with exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were calculated for assessing internal consistency reliability. The ERQ–F score correlations with negative and positive emotional reactivity as well as with anxiety and depressive symptoms were calculated. Results: Our results indicated a strong factorial validity, conforming to the intended original 1-factor model. We also proposed a theoretically sound and empirically valid 2-factor model, which was the best factor solution in our data set. This model consists of two 3-item subscales, reflecting the use of fantasizing to feel less negative emotions (negative-fantasizing) and the use of fantasizing to feel more positive emotions (positive-fantasizing). Internal consistency reliability was good for two ERQ–F subscales and the total score. It was shown that positive-fantasizing is positively related to negative reactivity as well as to other mental health symptoms, whereas negative-fantasizing was not related to negative or positive emotional reactivity, or to these symptoms. Conclusions: Overall, the Polish version of the 2-factor ERQ–F has good preliminary psychometric properties, reinforcing the clinical relevance of distinguishing fantasizing for feeling less negative emotions and fantasizing for feeling more positive emotions. It seems that using fantasizing to feel more positive emotions may lead to adverse effects (opposite of expected), i.e., to more easily activated and more prolonged negative emotions as well as to higher levels of mental health symptoms.

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