Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology



First Advisor

Sara Haden

Committee Chair and Members

Sara Haden, Chair

Philip Wong

Joan Duncan


Emotion regulation, Heart rate variability, Music


The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of music on stress and emotion regulation and whether the emotional valence of the music attended to would result in differences in the resulting stress and emotion dysregulation experienced by individuals. A sample of 181 college students, ages 18-50 were recruited via posted flyers and a digital portal for students to volunteer in studies in exchange for class credit and were then randomly assigned to one of two music conditions (music with positive or negative emotional valence). The sample completed a number of self-report measures related to positive and negative affect, emotion regulation, and symptoms related to depression and wore a heart rate monitor to record their heart rate variability (HRV). Participants then listened to music with different emotional valences and engaged in a stressful task, the PASAT-C. Results showed no significant between or within-group changes in self-reported affect or emotion regulation, and no significant change in HRV between groups. There were significant correlations between measures which reflect findings of past studies regarding affect, depressive symptoms, and emotion regulation. There was also a significant difference within the positive music test group indicating a possible impact from the music attended, though further investigation is required to determine the implications of the difference. The limitations of this study and possible directions for future research are discussed in order to further explore the impact of music on stress and emotion regulation.