An investigation into the relationship between mother-child co-regulation patterns and self-regulation development

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Savannah Bayer (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Linda Hestenes

Abstract: The significance of strong, healthy self-regulation development has been highlighted by many studies. Recent work on self-regulation development in early childhood has utilized dynamic systems theory to showcase the supportive relationship between parent-child co-regulation and children’s self-regulation development. Co-regulation is a socialization process by which children learn how to regulate their behaviors and emotions. Parents exercise co-regulation through modeling, coaching, and explaining their regulatory expectations. This study sought to link co-regulation and emotion related socialization behaviors (ERSB) exchanges during a mother-child interaction to that child’s self-regulation abilities. Fifteen-minute video observations of 41 dyads participating in a semi-structured play task were used to track co-regulation and ERSB exchanges. The data from these observations were compared to children’s self-regulation scores. Two parent-reported scores using the Emotion Regulation Checklist and a researcher assigned behavioral observation global self-regulation score were used as markers of the children’s self-regulation abilities. Most dyads demonstrated high rates of engagement and co-regulation behaviors. Dyads also tended to express neutral or positive affect during the observed interaction. While direct links between the main variables were not found, findings suggest that a dynamic perspective to self-regulation development is complex and requires multiple data collection points and a longitudinal research design to best capture the impact of co-regulation processes.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
Co-regulation, Development, Early childhood, Emotion regulation, Parenting, Self-regulation
Mother and child
Emotions in children
Self-control in children

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