Social and emotional theories of aging

Da JIANG, Helene H. FUNG

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

10 Citations (Scopus)


Many lay people believe that aging is a lonely and unhappy journey because of the physical and cognitive losses and declines that are common in old age. However, research on aging and emotion has consistently found that older adults experience more positive and fewer negative emotions than do younger adults, despite the age-related declines and losses. Older adults seem better at emotion regulation than do their younger counterparts. The current chapter attempts to explain such age-related differences in emotional experience and regulation through the lens of several social and emotional theories of aging. We introduce the theories within the framework of the process model of emotion regulation that proposes five emotion regulation processes, including (1) selection of the situation, (2) modification of the situation, (3) deployment of attention, (4) change of cognition, and (5) modulation of experiential, behavioral, or physiological responses. We also discuss how these theories can be applied to understand research findings in the area of aging and work. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWork across the lifespan
EditorsBoris B. BALTES, Cort W. RUDOLPH, Hannes ZACHER
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherAcademic Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780128127568
ISBN (Print)9780128127568
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


Jiang, D., & Fung, H. H. (2019). Social and emotional theories of aging. In B. B. Baltes, C. W. Rudolph, & H. Zacher (Eds.), Work across the lifespan (pp. 135-153). London: Academic Press.


  • Aging
  • Emotion
  • Social
  • Emotion regulation
  • Older adults


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