Learning Goals for Emotion Regulation: A Randomized Intervention Study.
Abstract: A consistent finding from research on motivation is that when people
pursue learning versus performance goals (i.e., seek to improve rather than prove their
ability), they are more likely to respond constructively to stressful situations. The
current study investigates the effectiveness of a workshop designed to foster learning
goals for emotion regulation. Fifty participating colleg... read moree students (ages 18 to 21) were
randomly assigned to either an intervention or a waitlist control condition and completed
measures at baseline and post-test (approximately four weeks later). The intervention
consisted of a three-session workshop in which participants explored hands-on activity
stations, each based on an area of current research in emotion regulation. The intervention
applied principles from goal orientation theory to promote learning goals, including
focusing on personally meaningful tasks, engaging participants in making choices, and
providing recognition for experimenting and practice rather than judging results. Outcome
variables included emotion regulation strategies, emotion regulation competence beliefs,
physiological and experiential responses to an emotional induction, depressive symptoms,
and college grades. The results of this randomized control trial indicated that relative to
control participants, intervention participants showed increased use of new emotion
regulation strategies and greater reflection on emotions at post-test. The findings are
discussed in light of related research suggesting that, in addition to promoting
constructive strategies, it may also be important to address individuals' goals for
managing their emotions.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2011.
Submitted to the Dept. of Child Development.
Advisor: Fred Rothbaum.
Committee: Martha Pott, Heather Urry, and Matthew Nock.
Keywords: Developmental psychology, Educational psychology, and Psychology.read less