The CIDER Study

The CIDER Study

Family, Work, & Well-Being Lab

Contextual Influences on Daily Emotion Regulation

The CIDER Study examines how middle-aged adults regulate their strong positive or negative emotions at work and with family.

The study investigates contextual and individual factors that influence daily emotion regulation in midlife, specifically focusing on the experiences of adults in marginalized racial/ethnic and gender groups.

Background

Effective emotion regulation (ER) is crucial for individuals’ health and well-being across the lifespan.

Emotion regulation in Midlife

  • Midlife is a developmental stage of both growth and decline (Lachman et al., 2015)

  • Studying areas of growth in midlife (such as emotion regulation abilities) is important for understanding how emotional well-being shapes the aging process

  • Among middle-aged adults, daily negative affect has been associated with many negative health outcomes; however, studies examining age differences in ER seldom include or focus on middle-aged adults (Riediger & Bellingtier, 2022).

Context shapes emotion regulation

  • Work and family contexts are especially relevant in midlife.

  • Middle-aged adults may be:

    • Caring for both their aging parents and their children (e.g., the sandwich generation; Miller, 1981)

    • Becoming grandparents

    • Experiencing ageism in the workplace (Lachman et al., 2015)

  • ER in work and family contexts may differ by individual characteristics, like race/ethnicity or gender identity.

Approach

The CIDER Study uses a daily diary approach to ask participants to reflect on emotional experiences they had at work or with family throughout the day.

Over 7 days, participants rate indicate emotion regulation strategies that they may have used in these contexts. Participants also answer questions about the contexts, including the gender and racial/ethnic identities of those present to calculate gender and racial/ethnic match.

By studying emotion regulation and work and family contexts every day throughout a week, CIDER will be able to capture how individuals adapt across contexts.

Impact

The CIDER study will yield an increased understanding of conducting research focused on daily variations in ER, differences in ER in work and family contexts, and ER adaptation over time.

Additionally, by studying daily ER in midlife, the CIDER study will yield results relevant for future targeted interventions to improve emotion regulation and well-being in adulthood to increase the amount of people living happier and healthier for longer.

As social factors can be strong determinants of health disparities (Hill et al., 2015), considering race- and gender-based experiences for ER in different contexts will allow interventions to optimize the aging process for a wide range of individuals, including those from marginalized groups.

The CIDER Team

Get in touch with us at [email protected]

 

Kelly D. Chandler, PhD

Kelly D. Chandler, PhD

Principal Investigator

Kelly is an associate professor of Human Development and Family Sciences at Oregon State University. Her research focuses on the interconnection of work, family life, and health, particularly among parents in midlife.

Learn more about Dr. Chandler's work.

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Madeline J. Nichols, MS

Madeline J. Nichols, MS

Research Assistant

Madeline is a current graduate student in the Human Development and Family Sciences program at Oregon State University. Her research focuses on how adults in mid- and later-life understand, process, and regulate their emotions in different interpersonal contexts.

Learn more about Madeline's work.

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This research was supported in part by the Center for Healthy Aging Research LIFE Scholars Summer Research Program.