Introduction: Providing care for a loved one with dementia can engender intense emotions that contribute to symptoms of anxiety and depression. Caregivers often attempt to regulate their emotions using strategies like cognitive reappraisal (CR; changing how they think about the situation) or expressive suppression (ES; hiding their emotions). However, men and women caregivers may differ in their use of these strategies. The current study examines gender differences in reported CR and ES usage and their associations with depression and anxiety in dementia caregivers. Methods: We combined data from three independent studies of informal dementia caregivers (total N = 460) who reported on their use of CR, ES, and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Results: Women caregivers reported greater use of CR and less use of ES compared to men. Gender moderated the association between CR and depression, such that greater use of CR in women was associated with fewer depressive symptoms, but not for men. Gender did not significantly moderate the association between ES and depression, or between either emotion regulation strategy and anxiety. Conclusion: Findings of a unique relationship between greater CR use and less depression among women CGs, although correlational, suggest that utilizing CR may be particularly helpful for reducing depression in women caregivers. These results underscore the need for further research to determine how best to support the mental well-being of dementia caregivers.

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