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Age and Gender Differences in Emotion Regulation Strategies: Autobiographical Memory, Rumination, Problem Solving and Distraction

  • Jorge Javier Ricarte Trives (a1), Beatriz Navarro Bravo (a1), José Miguel Latorre Postigo (a1), Laura Ros Segura (a1) and Ed Watkins (a2)...


Our study tested the hypothesis that older adults and men use more adaptive emotion regulatory strategies but fewer negative emotion regulatory strategies than younger adults and women. In addition, we tested the hypothesis that rumination acts as a mediator variable for the effect of age and gender on depression scores. Differences in rumination, problem solving, distraction, autobiographical recall and depression were assessed in a group of young adults (18–29 years) compared to a group of older adults (50–76 years). The older group used more problem solving and distraction strategies when in a depressed state than their younger counterparts (ps < .05). The younger participants reported more rumination (p < .01). Women scored higher in depression scores and lower in distraction than men (ps < .05). There were no significant effects of age, gender, or interaction of age by gender on the recall of specific autobiographical memories (ps > .06). Ordinary least squares regression analyses with bootstrapping showed that rumination mediated the association between age, gender and depression scores. These results suggest that older adults and men select more adaptive strategies to regulate emotions than young adults and women with rumination acting as a significant mediator variable in the association between age, gender, and depression.


Corresponding author

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed Beatriz Navarro Bravo. Departamento de Psicología. Facultad de Medicina. Calle Almansa 14. 02006. Albacete (Spain). E-mail:


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Age and Gender Differences in Emotion Regulation Strategies: Autobiographical Memory, Rumination, Problem Solving and Distraction

  • Jorge Javier Ricarte Trives (a1), Beatriz Navarro Bravo (a1), José Miguel Latorre Postigo (a1), Laura Ros Segura (a1) and Ed Watkins (a2)...


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