Does interpersonal emotion regulation ability change with age?

Karen Niven

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Societal and political changes mean that individuals are working until later in life, leading to interest in whether older workers’ effectiveness differs from that of younger workers. An important predictor of work effectiveness is ‘interpersonal emotion regulation’, that is, the management of others’ feelings. However, little is known so far about whether there are age-related changes in interpersonal emotion regulation ability. In this article, I apply theoretical evidence about aging to a model of the composite tasks involved in interpersonal emotion regulation, in order to form predictions about age-related differences in the management of others’ feelings. I further review the existing empirical evidence base, to highlight areas where predictions are supported and areas where further research is needed. It is hoped that this article will guide future empirical work in this important area, in order to broaden the evidence base on age and emotion regulation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100847
JournalHuman Resource Management Review
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2021


  • Aging
  • Cognition
  • Emotion regulation
  • Interpersonal emotion regulation
  • Motivation


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