We examined how positive and negative affect covary within individuals over time and how patterns of association between affective traits and states relate to academic success across 4 years of university. Participants were 187 full-time first-year students at a large Canadian university who completed questionnaires about recent affective experiences in 6 waves across 4 years. Grade point average for each year of study was provided by the registrar's office. Our analysis identified an adaptive pattern characterized by the maintenance of high positive affect ("chronic happiness") and the cooccurrence of time-limited bouts of negative affect. Our results are consistent with findings showing productive consequences of experiencing positive and negative affect in tandem and the development of emotion regulation capacity across the transition to adulthood.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Academic success, Affect, Emotion regulation, Longitudinal, University students
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1037/dev0000231
Journal Developmental Psychology
Citation
Barker, E.T. (Erin T.), Howard, A.L, Galambos, N.L. (Nancy L.), & Wrosch, C. (Carsten). (2016). Tracking affect and academic success across university: Happy students benefit from bouts of negative mood. Developmental Psychology, 52(12), 2022–2030. doi:10.1037/dev0000231