Emotional processes related to wellbeing

Examining emotion regulation in relation to depression and anxiety


The proposed study seeks to examine predictors (i.e., emotional awareness, contextual sensitivity, perseverative negative thinking) of dysfunctional emotion regulation that contribute to depression and anxiety, as well as to provide an initial framework for optimal emotion regulation in individualized daily life contexts.

This study uses multiple measurements (behavioural, psychophysiological, self-report, clinical interview) in the laboratory and in naturalistic settings in daily life, and it focuses on dimensional and transdiagnostic features that underlie multiple disorders.

Emotion regulation in the lab and daily life will also be examined as predictors of trajectories of clinical outcomes (e.g., symptoms, daily functioning, wellbeing) over the course of one year.

Findings can help refine intervention targets and inform personalised treatment for depression and anxiety, which are common and impairing conditions.

Project goals:

  • Examine how emotion regulation abilities influence effective emotion regulation and distress symptoms in the lab and in daily life.
  • Evaluate how emotion regulation predicts individual trajectories of distress symptoms, functioning, and well-being over the course of one year.
  • Utilise machine learning approaches to identify complex patterns among study variables to construct predictive models. 

As part of this project the successful PhD applicant will administer clinical interviews to participants and assist in data collection and analysis.

Research team leader: Associate Prof. Kristin Gainey

My research focuses on emotional processes in depression and anxiety in adults, identifying risk and protective factors. More specifically, I focus on predictors and outcomes of emotion regulation and coping assessed in naturalistic settings in daily life.


How to Apply 

Check criteria
  • To be accepted into the Doctor of Philosophy, an applicant must demonstrate they have sufficient background experience in independent supervised research to successfully complete, and provide evidence of English language proficiency
Submit enquiry to research team leader 
  • Contact the research team leader by submitting an Expression of Interest form via the button below
  • After you have discussed your project with the research team leader, contact to proceed with your application

Scholarship specific to this project


  • 5 year longitudinal NIH funded project valued at $30,000 per annum