Faculty » Elizabeth Davis

My research focuses on understanding how emotion regulation relates to adaptive outcomes (e.g., learning) and maladaptive outcomes (e.g., anxiety) in childhood. Emotion regulation can be broadly defined as the set of processes by which people influence the timing, expression, and experience of their emotions. Learning to regulate negative emotion is one of the most important tasks of childhood, with far-reaching consequences for children’s school adjustment, peer relationships, and mental health. My work to date has aimed to identify regulatory strategies that children can use to effectively alleviate negative emotion, and to identify individual differences in children’s biology and social experiences that determine whether they can regulate emotion effectively. My work also focuses on identifying mechanisms responsible for effective emotion regulation (e.g., attentional focus) to explain why certain emotion regulation strategies attenuate negative emotion and distress. Ultimately, I view this program of research as providing an empirical basis for interventions aimed at improving children’s emotion regulation abilities and mitigating risk for maladaptive outcomes.

Selected Publications

Davis, E. L., & Levine, L. J. (2012). Emotion regulation strategies that promote learning: Reappraisal enhances children’s memory for educational information. Child Development, DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01836.x

Davis, E. L., & Buss, K. A. (2012). Moderators of the relation between shyness and behavior with peers: Cortisol Dysregulation and Maternal Emotion Socialization. Social Development, DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9507.2011.00654.x.

Davis, E. L., Greenberger, E., Charles, S. T., & Chen, C. S. (2012). Emotion experience and regulation in China and the United States: How do culture and gender shape emotion responding? International Journal of Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/00207594.2011.626043.

Buss, K. A., Davis, E. L., & Kiel, E. J. (2011). Allostatic and environmental load in toddlers predicts anxiety in preschool and kindergarten. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 1069-1087.

Davis, E. L., Levine, L. J., Lench, H. C., & Quas, J. A. (2010). Metacognitive emotion regulation: Children’s awareness that changing thoughts and goals can change feelings. Emotion, 10, 498-510.

Quas, J. A., Wallin, A. R., Horwitz, B. N., Davis, E. L., & Lyon, T. D. (2009). Maltreated
children’s understanding of and emotional reactions to dependency court involvement. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 27, 97-117.

Quas, J. A., Davis, E. L., Goodman, G. S., & Myers, J. E. B. (2007). Repeated questions, deception, and children’s true and false reports of body touch. Child Maltreatment, 12, 60-67.