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Diamond+++Aspinwall++2003 - P1 GRA Motivation and...

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Motivation and Emotion, Vol. 27, No. 2, June 2003 ( C 2003) Emotion Regulation Across the Life Span: An Integrative Perspective Emphasizing Self-Regulation, Positive Affect, and Dyadic Processes 1 Lisa M. Diamond 2 , 3 and Lisa G. Aspinwall 2 In this commentary, we build upon the papers featured in this 2-part special issue to advance an integrative perspective on emotion regulation that emphasizes the developmentally specific goal-contexts of emotional phenomena. We highlight the importance of (1) multilevel longitudinal investigations of interactions among biological, affective, cognitive, and behavioral processes with respect to emotion regulation; (2) the integration of emotion-regulation processes with self-regulatory processes across the life course; (3) the dynamic relationship between positive and negative affect and their respective influence on regulatory processes; and (4) greater consideration of the dyadic context of emotion-regulation processes. From this perspective, the optimal developmental outcome with respect to emotion regulation is not affective homeostasis, but rather a dynamic flexibility in emotional experience, the ability to pursue and prioritize different goals, and the capacity to selectively and proactively mobilize emotions and cognitions in the service of context-specific and developmentally specific goals. KEY WORDS: emotion regulation; self-regulation; positive affect; life-span development; multilevel analyses. Historically, effective regulation of emotions has been viewed as a developmen- tal achievement that serves as a prerequisite for numerous other developmental tasks. Specifically, because powerful emotions have the potential to disorganize and/or disrupt multiple psychological processes, modulation of their experience 1 We gratefully acknowledge Cynthia Berg, Mario Mikulincer, Monisha Pasupathi, and Annette Stanton for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper. 2 Department of Psychology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah. 3 Address all correspondence to Lisa M. Diamond, Department of Psychology, University of Utah, 380 South 1530 East, Room 502, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-0251; e-mail: [email protected] 125 0146-7239/03/0600-0125/0 C 2003 Plenum Publishing Corporation
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126 Diamond and Aspinwall and expression (through both intrapsychic and interpersonal processes) has been considered essential for basic state regulation, behavioral exploration, cognitive processing, and social competence (reviewed in Fox, 1994). According to this standard developmental view, infants and children initially rely on interactions with their caregivers to regulate their emotions, and they progressively internalize these abilities as they mature. Individual differences in capacities and strategies for emotion regulation carry over into adulthood, where they influence coping styles, problem solving, social support processes, relationship quality, and mental and physical health (Cooper, Shaver, & Collins, 1998; Fabes & Eisenberg, 1997; Repetti, Taylor, & Seeman, 2002).
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