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

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


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.


adolescence; emotion regulation; respiratory sinus arrhythmia; mental health; positive youth development; resilience; wellbeing

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