Emotion Regulation

Implications for Positive Youth Development

Authored by: Maureen Buckley , Carolyn Saarni

Handbook of Positive Psychology in Schools

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  February  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415621854
eBook ISBN: 9780203106525
Adobe ISBN: 9781136258398


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The ability to recognize, regulate, and express emotions adeptly plays a crucial role in determining a student’s ability to achieve personal or academic goals, as well as cope with life’s challenges. Advances in research and theoretical development have bolstered our understanding of children’s emotional functioning and its role in positive developmental outcomes (see Saarni, Campos, Camras, & Witherington, 2006). Emotion regulation, an area of focus within emotional development, has been sharpened in its definitions and implications for behavior (e.g., Campos, Frankel, & Camras, 2004; Eisenberg, Spinrad, & Eggum, 2010). We begin this chapter with an overview of emotional regulation, integrating this construct within the larger framework of emotional competence (Saarni, 1999). We then provide a review of recent empirical findings regarding emotional regulation and its impact on developmental outcomes, including social-emotional and academic functioning. The chapter concludes by addressing school-based methods for enhancing emotional competence in general and emotion regulation more specifically.

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