Emotion regulation has been argued to be an important factor in well-being. The current study investigated the effects of adult aging on emotional expression, emotional control and rumination about emotional events, focusing on an emotion which is particularly important in social interaction: anger. Measures of anger regulation and well-being were obtained in a sample of 286 adults aged between 18 and 88. Older adults expressed anger outwardly less often, and reported more inner control of anger using calming strategies compared to their younger counterparts. These age differences were not explained by variance in social desirability of responding. Age improvements in negative affect and anxiety were partly explained by age differences in anger regulation suggesting an important role for anger management in good mental health amongst older adults. Further, age improvements in quality of life were explained by variance in anger regulation indicating that improved management of emotions with age is an important factor in maintaining well-being in old age.
- SOCIOEMOTIONAL SELECTIVITY
- NEGATIVE AFFECT