From mindful attention to social connection: The key role of emotion regulation

Jordan T. Quaglia, Robert J. Goodman, Kirk Warren Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Effective emotion regulation is important for high-quality social functioning. Recent laboratory-based evidence suggests that mindfulness may enhance emotion regulation in socioemotional contexts; however, little is known about mindful emotion regulation during in vivo social interactions. In a study of romantic couples, we assessed each partner’s mindfulness and top-down attentional efficiency (with anEmotionalGo/No-Gotask)priortosamplingemotionsandperceivedconnectionwithothersduring day-to-day social interactions. Analyses revealed that mindfulness-related differences in top-down attentional efficiency on the Emotional Go/No-Go predicted positive emotion during daily social interactions. In turn, positive emotion and two additional indices of social emotion regulation each mediated the relation between actor mindfulness and perceived social connection. In corresponding analyses, neither trait reappraisal nor suppression use predicted the outcomes, and all mindfulness relations held controlling for these strategies. Findings support a framework for investigating mindfulness and higher-quality social functioning, for which mindful emotion regulation may be key.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1466-1474
Number of pages9
JournalCognition and Emotion
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Actor-Partner Interdependence Model
  • Emotion regulation
  • Emotional Go/No-Go
  • Mindfulness
  • Social connection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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