Building BERT: A Brief Emotion Regulation Training Program for College Students
Mental wellness is a critical component of healthy development, helping to protect against stress and promote resilience and the capacity to thrive. It is important to foster mental wellness during the time when people are transitioning from adolescence to adulthood, when changes in many social roles and expectations increase vulnerability to stress. College students in particular will benefit from programming to promote mental wellness, as they often leave home for the first time and face new and higher expectations for their functioning while they are transitioning to adulthood. Emotion regulation, or management of physiological arousal, thoughts, and actions related to emotions, is a key target for promoting mental wellness as the capacity to experience and manage a range of emotions is critical for healthy functioning and difficulty managing emotions has a host of negative consequences. In this four-phase project, a brief, visually appealing, time and cost-effective interactive online emotion regulation training program for college students (BERT) will be developed and tested by a transdisciplinary research team. By developing and testing a scalable program to improve emotion regulation, BERT has high potential significance for improving mental wellness, reducing problem behaviors and mental illness, and promoting success in college students, teaching students emotion regulation skills that may continue to accrue benefits for them throughout adulthood.