The relation of parental emotion dysregulation to children's psychopathology
MetadataShow full item record
The current study investigated the roles of parents’ and children’s emotion dysregulation in children’s development of internalizing and externalizing problems by incorporating person- and variable-centered approaches. 64 children (38 girls and 26 boys) between the ages of 8 and 11 (M age = 9.45, SD = 1.04) participated in this study with their mothers (33 African Americans and 26 Caucasian Americans). The study variables were collected via multiple methods, including observational assessment of family interactions and questionnaire assessment from both parents’ and children’s perspectives. Using model-based cluster analysis, a profile of children’s problems with regulating negative emotions was created for each child by incorporating multiple measurements on child emotion regulation. Two profiles were identified. Specifically, children in Cluster 1 (N = 14) demonstrated an externalizing regulatory style, whereas children in Cluster 2 (N =44) demonstrated an internalizing regulatory style. These latent profiles were applied in a moderation model testing whether the combination of parents’ and children’s regulatory style influence children’s behavioral and psychological well being. Results showed that children’s emotion dysregulation profiles moderate the relationship between parental emotion dysregulation and child internalizing problems with children who adopted a more internalizing style with emotional problems more vulnerable to problematic internalizing symptoms in the context of high maladaptive parental emotion regulation. Such moderation model was not significant with child externalizing problems, but children who adopted a more externalizing style with emotional problem seem to have more problematic externalizing symptoms. This multifactorial approach in assessing child emotion regulation and examining the interaction of parents’ and children’s emotional competence on child psychopathology contribute to a better understanding of how family emotional processes impact children’s psychological well being.