Abstract and Keywords
Emotion generation, regulation, and dysregulation are complex constructs that are challenging to define and measure. This chapter reviews prevailing definitions and theories of these constructs and examines the literature across multiple levels of analysis. It adopts a developmental perspective, which guides interpretation of the literature and helps clarify discrepant points of view. The extent to which emotion generation and regulation are separable represents a significant controversy in the field. When viewed as cognitive constructs, it is virtually impossible to disentangle emotion generation and regulation. However, at the biological level, there are important differences in neural structures involved in bottom-up emotion generation processes versus those associated with top-down regulation of emotions. From a developmental perspective, emotions and emotion dysregulation emerge early in life, whereas emotion regulation strategies develop more gradually as a function of maturation and socialization. Future research should continue to reconcile different perspectives on emotion generation, regulation, and dysregulation.
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