Toddler regulation of distress to frustrating events: Temperamental and maternal correlates.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Susan D. Calkins, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Seventy-three mothers and their 18-month-old toddlers were observed in a series of laboratory procedures designed to assess relations among physiological arousal, frustration distress, emotion regulation and maternal interactive style. Physiological arousal was assessed using baseline measures of vagal tone and heart period. Distress was assessed across four separate episodes designed to elicit the intensity, frequency, duration and latency of the distress response to frustrating events. Regulation was assessed by examining the child,s behaviors (aggression, distraction, mother-orientation, constructive coping) when confronted by the four frustration tasks. Maternal interactive style was assessed by examining mothers, strategies for child behavior management (negative controlling, positive guidance, preemptive interference) during four mother-child tasks. Distress to the frustrating tasks was related to aggression/acting-out behaviors, and negatively related to the use of more adaptive strategies. Maternal interference was related to distress to the frustrating events, while maternal positive guidance was related to the use of distraction and mother-oriented regulating behaviors. These findings are discussed in terms of the adaptive value of emotion regulation in early development.

Additional Information

Infant Behavior and Development, 21, 379-395
Language: English
Date: 1998
Emotion regulation, Temperament, Mother-child interaction, Toddler frustration

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