Parent-child co-regulation predicting emotion regulation in early childhood

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Nneka Morris (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Susan P. Keane

Abstract: The current study examined the importance of co-regulation, defined as the mutual regulatory parent-child process that consists of coordinated emotional expression (Feldman, Greenbaum, & Yirmiya, 1999), on emotion regulation in children across early childhood. Literature related to co-regulation (e.g. responses to emotions) and individual factors of the parent and child (e.g. reactivity and psychopathology) was reviewed and used to develop a transactional model predicting child emotion regulation. It was hypothesized that co-regulation would have an additive and indirect effect on emotion regulation above and beyond the contribution of the individual factors of the child and parent. Maternal and teacher report of child negative reactivity and emotion regulation was obtained at ages 4 and 5. Laboratory observations of these constructs were also utilized. Mothers self-reported on their levels of psychopathology, as well as their reactions to their child’s negative emotions. Co-regulation was also obtained using interval coded data of reciprocated positive affect during parent-child interaction tasks. Four structural equation models (SEM) were analyzed in MPlus, and nested models were compared using a chi-square difference test. Using maternal report and observational data, the primary hypothesis was supported, as co-regulation had an additive effect on concurrent emotion regulation. Using observational data of individual factors, co-regulation also had an indirect effect on emotion regulation over time. Findings are interpreted in terms of highlighting the essential role of parent-child interactions on the development of children’s emotion regulation across early childhood.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Co-regulation, Early Childhood, Emotion Regulation, Parenting
Emotions in children
Parent and child

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