Emotion-regulation strategies in older people: a systematic review

Blanca Ramirez-Ruiz, Kathryn Quinn, Nuno Ferreira

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Purpose: Emotion regulation (ER) has been identified as an important factor influencing psychological and health problems of adult populations. The purpose of this paper is to address a gap in the literature by examining available evidence relating to the use of ER strategies (avoidance, problem solving, reappraisal, rumination and suppression) on the well-being of older people (OP). Design/methodology/approach: A systematic search for peer-reviewed articles published from 1985 to 2015 was conducted in PsycINFO, CINAHL, Medline, Psychological and Behavioural Sciences Collections and ASSIA and resulted in 1746 titles. In total, 20 studies met full inclusion criteria (the cross-sectional association between well-being and ER was reported, participants were 60 years or older, without cognitive impairment and the article was written in English, Portuguese or Spanish). Findings: Rumination was found to be the ER strategy most strongly associated with symptoms of anxiety and depression in OP populations, while mixed result were found for avoidance, problem solving, suppression and reappraisal. Research limitations/implications: Given the scarcity of research examining the association between ER and positive psychological concepts only a conclusion about ER and negative mood measures could be made. Questions for future research on ER and well-being in OP are proposed. Originality/value: This paper addresses a significant gap in the literature regarding the use of ER strategies in older adults.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalWorking with Older People
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2019


    • Emotion regulation
    • Older people
    • Systematic review


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