The socialization of emotion regulation in late childhood: the influence of friendship

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jennifer S. Mackler (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Susan Calkins

Abstract: The role of caregivers in the development of emotion regulation (ER) in infancy and early childhood has been established; however, friendships may serve an important role in socializing the ongoing development of regulatory processes starting in late childhood. A developmental model of the influence of friends on individual differences in ER through selection and socialization effects was examined in a longitudinal sample. Physiological and behavioral indicators of ER were examined when children were 5, 7, and 10 years old, and mothers reported on children's social competence and aggression at age 7. Sociometric nominations of children's mutual friends in 2nd grade were used to measure the characteristics of participant's friends. Results indicated that physiological and behavioral indicators of ER were stable from 5 to 10 years. The behavioral indicator of ER, but not the physiological indicator of ER, at age 5 was associated with high levels of social competence and low levels of aggression at age 7. The results of the behavioral model indicated that increased social competence at age 7 was associated with friendships with peers in second grade who engaged in positive behaviors, which in turn predicted increases in ER. Tests of gender invariance revealed that the associations in the behavioral model differed for boys and girls. Overall, these results demonstrate the sequence of effects that influence the continued development of ER, over and above the stability of regulation over time. This study also highlights the importance of peers in the socialization of emotion regulation starting in late childhood.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Friendship, Emotion Regulation, Childhood
Emotions in children $x Social aspects
Child development $x Social aspects
Friendship $x Social aspects

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