The role of physiological and subjective measures of emotion regulation in predicting adolescent wellbeing

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Lucy Morrish
Tan Chyuan Chin
Nikki Rickard
Peta Sigley-Taylor
Dianne Vella-Brodrick

Abstract

Emotion regulation (ER) is a key contributor to psychosocial adjustment in adolescence, while ER deficits contribute to psychological distress and dysfunction. To date, research with adolescents has examined a limited subset of ER processes, often in relation to mental ill-health. This study examined associations between multiple ER measures and wellbeing in a normative sample of 119 adolescents (Mage = 15.73). ER was measured using self-report and physiological (RSA) indices. Multiple measures of positive and negative functioning were examined. After controlling for covariates, hierarchical regression analyses revealed that self-reported ER predicted resilience, perseverance, connectedness, and happiness; and fewer depression and anxiety symptoms. Higher tonic RSA predicted resilience and perseverance. Effect sizes were small to moderate. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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Author Biographies

Lucy Morrish, The University of Melbourne

Centre for Positive Psychology

Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Tan Chyuan Chin, The University of Melbourne

Centre for Positive Psychology

Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Nikki Rickard, Monash University

School of Psychological Sciences

Peta Sigley-Taylor, The University of Melbourne

Centre for Positive Psychology

Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Dianne Vella-Brodrick, The University of Melbourne

Centre for Positive Psychology

Melbourne Graduate School of Education