Research Topic

Emotional Functioning and its Role in Mental and Physical Health Across Development: Covering the Knowledge-to-Action Continuum

About this Research Topic

Emotions are basic features of human functioning. As such, they play a key role in both mental health and illness throughout the entire lifespan: maladaptive emotional functioning is thought to be a critical feature in nearly all mental disorders. Definitions of emotional functioning vary, but all note that emotional functioning entails the experience, expression and regulation of positive and negative emotions as well as symptoms of emotional problems such as anxiety, depression and aggressive behaviour. Emotional functioning can thus be understood as an umbrella term that includes more specific concepts such as emotion regulation, awareness, differentiation, and expression of emotions, and psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety symptoms. Emerging patterns of emotional functioning in childhood are maintained into adulthood, hence childhood emotional functioning may provide an early indicator of long-term health risk in adulthood.

The goal of this Research Topic is to present cutting-edge research on the role of emotional functioning in mental and physical health across childhood, adolescence and young adulthood and to discuss the potential of these studies to translate to the clinic. Emotional functioning covers the expression, regulation, differentiation, and awareness of emotions. We aim to highlight the impact of emotional functioning on physical and mental health, such as the development and maintenance as well as the diagnosis and treatment of illness from both a risk and a resilience perspective. A deeper understanding of emotional functioning during this crucial time of development will offer new and innovative insights to inform clinical practice with regard to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental and physical health conditions.

We welcome Original Research articles, Case Reports of clinical cohorts, Opinion Papers and Review articles addressing the above aims, conducted with healthy and clinical samples of children, adolescents, and young adults. We specifically encourage submissions addressing the following topics:

•Aspects of emotional functioning as risk and/or resilience factors in development

•Aspects of emotional functioning and their association with physical health, especially (chronic) pain

•Aspects of emotional functioning and their association with mental health, for example depression and anxiety

•New perspectives on aspects of emotional functioning (e.g., emotion regulation, emotion expression, emotion differentiation) and novel methods of assessment

•Novel intervention research and emotional functioning as a target of intervention


Keywords: emotional functioning, mental health, physical health, development, children and adolescents


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Emotions are basic features of human functioning. As such, they play a key role in both mental health and illness throughout the entire lifespan: maladaptive emotional functioning is thought to be a critical feature in nearly all mental disorders. Definitions of emotional functioning vary, but all note that emotional functioning entails the experience, expression and regulation of positive and negative emotions as well as symptoms of emotional problems such as anxiety, depression and aggressive behaviour. Emotional functioning can thus be understood as an umbrella term that includes more specific concepts such as emotion regulation, awareness, differentiation, and expression of emotions, and psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety symptoms. Emerging patterns of emotional functioning in childhood are maintained into adulthood, hence childhood emotional functioning may provide an early indicator of long-term health risk in adulthood.

The goal of this Research Topic is to present cutting-edge research on the role of emotional functioning in mental and physical health across childhood, adolescence and young adulthood and to discuss the potential of these studies to translate to the clinic. Emotional functioning covers the expression, regulation, differentiation, and awareness of emotions. We aim to highlight the impact of emotional functioning on physical and mental health, such as the development and maintenance as well as the diagnosis and treatment of illness from both a risk and a resilience perspective. A deeper understanding of emotional functioning during this crucial time of development will offer new and innovative insights to inform clinical practice with regard to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental and physical health conditions.

We welcome Original Research articles, Case Reports of clinical cohorts, Opinion Papers and Review articles addressing the above aims, conducted with healthy and clinical samples of children, adolescents, and young adults. We specifically encourage submissions addressing the following topics:

•Aspects of emotional functioning as risk and/or resilience factors in development

•Aspects of emotional functioning and their association with physical health, especially (chronic) pain

•Aspects of emotional functioning and their association with mental health, for example depression and anxiety

•New perspectives on aspects of emotional functioning (e.g., emotion regulation, emotion expression, emotion differentiation) and novel methods of assessment

•Novel intervention research and emotional functioning as a target of intervention


Keywords: emotional functioning, mental health, physical health, development, children and adolescents


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

26 March 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

26 March 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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