Emotion Regulation Strategy Mediates Both Positive and Negative Relationships Between Music Uses and Well-being

TanChyuan Chin
Nikki S. Rickard


The mediating effects of emotion regulation (reappraisal and suppression) were examined in the relationship between music engagement and well-being. Emotion regulation strategies (Emotion Regulation Questionnaire; Gross & John, 2003) and styles of music engagement (Music Use questionnaire; Chin & Rickard, 2012) were assessed in a large diverse sample of 637 participants. A battery of hedonic and eudaimonic well-being measures (International Positive and Negative Affect Schedule Short Form; Thompson, 2007; Satisfaction With Life Scale; Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985; Mental Health Continuum-Short Form; Keyes et al., 2008) was also administered. Results demonstrated that the path of mediation was dependent on the type of emotion regulation strategy utilized, as well as the way in which one engages with music. Findings provide initial evidence that engaging with music for the purposes of cognitive and emotion regulation may enhance well-being primarily through the habitual use of cognitive reappraisal. In contrast, various other aspects of music engagement (music listening, engaged production, and social connection) if coupled with a tendency to regulate emotions and thoughts by expressive suppression may yield undesirable well-being outcomes. This study highlights the important role emotion regulation plays in the complex relationship between music engagement and well-being. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)