The Influence of Emotion Regulation on Well-Being, Internalizing Symptoms, and Disordered Eating Among Emerging Adults
Levin, Rivka L.
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Emerging adulthood is a key period for the development of ER, which may set individuals on lifelong trajectories of mental health. Therefore, it is important to understand what components of ER are associated with adaptive and maladaptive outcomes among emerging adults. Using structural equation modelling, the relationships between different components of ER (dysregulation, strategy use, flexibility) and well-being (happiness, flourishing), and internalizing symptoms (depression, anxiety) and disordered eating were explored. As expected, dysregulation was related to reduced well-being and greater internalizing symptoms and disordered eating. Reappraisal was positively associated with well-being and negatively associated with internalizing symptoms, while the opposite relationship was found for suppression. Suppression was also linked to disordered eating. ER flexibility was related to well-being for emerging adult men only. Further, dysregulation had the largest effect on all outcomes. The research findings have important implications for researchers, clinicians, and post-secondary institutions and can inform prevention and treatment.