Emotional expressivity and emotion regulation: Relation to academic functioning among elementary school children

Kyongboon Kwon, Amanda R. Hanrahan, Kevin A. Kupzyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


We examined emotional expressivity (i.e., happiness, sadness, and anger) and emotion regulation (regulation of exuberance, sadness, and anger) as they relate to academic functioning (motivation, engagement, and achievement). Also, we tested the premise that emotional expressivity and emotion regulation are indirectly associated with achievement through academic motivation and engagement. Participants included 417 elementary school students (Mage = 10 years; 52% female; 60% Black) and their teachers from a Midwestern metropolitan area. We used child and teacher questionnaires, and data were analyzed with structural equation modeling. Regarding emotionality, happiness was positively associated with multiple aspects of academic functioning whereas an inverse association was found for anger; sadness was not associated with academic functioning. Also, happiness and anger were indirectly related to achievement through academic engagement. Emotion regulation was positively associated with multiple aspects of academic functioning; it was also indirectly associated with achievement through engagement. Implications are discussed regarding how social and emotional learning programs in schools can further benefit from research on children's emotions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-88
Number of pages14
JournalSchool Psychology Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017



  • Achievement
  • Emotion
  • Emotion regulation
  • Engagement
  • Motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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