Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Jutta Joormann

Second Committee Member

Kiara Timpano

Third Committee Member

Edward Rappaport


Previous research has demonstrated a link among stress response, emotion regulation, and executive control, such that greater executive control is associated with ability to use emotion regulation strategies that may promote adaptive responding to stressors. However, evidence of this relation is correlational and it is therefore not clear whether the ability to adaptively respond to stressors is caused by executive control abilities. Recent research has found that changing cognitive biases through training results in changes in emotion regulation ability. Additional research indicates that executive control may also be trained in a similar manner. The current study employed a training design to explore whether training executive control affects emotion regulation as well as physiological and subjective responses to stress in a sample of undergraduate students. Results provide preliminary support for executive control as a process underlying individual differences in rumination and physiological stress response. Explanations and implications for future studies are discussed in order to continue the advancement of our understanding of executive control and its role in stress response.


executive control; stress; emotion regulation