Emotion regulation as a scientific construct: Methodological challenges and directions for child development research

Pamela M. Cole, Sarah E. Martin, Tracy A. Dennis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1044 Scopus citations

Abstract

Emotion regulation has emerged as a popular topic, but there is doubt about its viability as a scientific construct. This article identifies conceptual and methodological challenges in this area of study and describes exemplar studies that provide a substantive basis for inferring emotion regulation. On the basis of those studies, 4 methods are described that provide compelling evidence for emotion regulation: independent measurement of activated emotion and purported regulatory processes; analysis of temporal relations; measurement across contrasting conditions; and multiple, convergent measures. By offering this perspective, this article aims to engage thoughtful debate and critical analysis, with the goal of increasing methodological rigor and advancing an understanding of emotion regulation as a scientific construct.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-333
Number of pages17
JournalChild development
Volume75
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Emotion regulation as a scientific construct: Methodological challenges and directions for child development research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this