Emotions Across the Lifespan


9:00 am-12:15 pm
3.0 CEUs

  • Nurses (via reciprocity with the CSWMFT board)
  • Pending LNHA

In recent years researchers have uncovered important age differences in emotional experience, emotional processing, and emotion regulation. Older adults bring a different perspective and prioritization to the emotional aspects of life. This seems to affect the balance of positive to negative emotions experienced in daily life in a more favorable direction with increasing age, perhaps through the ways in which individuals regulate their emotions. Theoretical accounts of these age differences suggest that as individuals approach an ending, such as death, they focus more on emotionally meaningful interactions and activities. Other theories highlight changes in the brain that occur with age to dampen the impact of negative emotional experiences and the cognitive limitations that accompany aging. The goal of this presentation is to describe these new findings regarding emotional experience, emotional processing, and emotion regulation. Both causes and consequences of these age differences will be presented, along with implications for individuals working with older adults.


  • Participants will be able to describe theoretical explanations for age differences in emotional experiences
  • Participants will identify age differences in emotional processing through emotion perception/nonverbal communication
  • Participants will identify causes, consequences, and implications for practice for emotional age differences
  • Participants will examine emotion regulation and emotion regulation strategies through experimental and field research
  • Participants will identify potential causal mechanisms and implications for practice for age differences in emotion regulation


About the Speaker Jennifer Tehan Stanley, Ph.D.

Dr. Jennifer Tehan Stanley has been a faculty member in the Psychology Department at the University of Akron since 2012. Dr. Stanley grew up in the Tampa Bay Area in Florida and earned her Bachelor’s degree from New College of Florida in Sarasota. She then earned her M.S. (2005) and Ph.D. (2008) in Experimental Psychology with a focus in Cognitive Aging from Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Stanley then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Brandeis University in Boston and later at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Maryland. Dr. Stanley is now an Associate Professor of Psychology at University of Akron where she directs the Emotions and Aging Lab and co-directs the Adult Development and Aging doctoral program. She has published 25 articles and book chapters on topics related to aging, emotions, and social judgments.