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Regulating Emotionality to Manage Adversity: A Systematic Review of the Relation Between Emotion Regulation and Psychological Resilience

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Research has indicated that enhanced emotion regulation bolsters psychological resilience. However, no study has systematically reviewed the empirical research directly evaluating the relation between emotion regulation and resilience or reviewed how individual emotion regulation strategies are differentially associated with resilience. Our systematic and integrative review (1) presents models linking emotion regulation (ER) with psychological resilience (PR) as a trait, trajectory of healthy functioning, and process; (2) critically reviews the support for this link, primarily focusing on ER strategies in relation to PR; and (3) charts future directions for research and clinical work.


Systematic review procedures were informed by the PRISMA guidelines. Literature searches were conducted in PsycARTICLES and PsycINFO as well as a follow-up search in Google Scholar to capture all pertinent articles.


Electronic searches yielded 182 articles. Thirty-three articles were selected for inclusion based on strict eligibility criteria. Studies included were cross-sectional, comparison, and longitudinal.


ER is positively associated with PR. ER may facilitate emotion- and problem-focused coping, promoting PR. Specific ER strategies uniquely related to PR and vary in effectiveness in strengthening PR depending on contextual factors (e.g., intense emotion-eliciting situations).

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*indicates the article was one of the studies included in our systematic review

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Correspondence to Craig P. Polizzi.

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Craig P. Polizzi and Steven Jay Lynn have no potential conflict of interests to disclose.

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This research did not involve informed consent because there were no human subjects.

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No approval of research ethics committees was required to accomplish the goals of this study because it did not involve human or animal subjects.

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Polizzi, C.P., Lynn, S.J. Regulating Emotionality to Manage Adversity: A Systematic Review of the Relation Between Emotion Regulation and Psychological Resilience. Cogn Ther Res 45, 577–597 (2021).

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