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Emotion Regulation and Attachment: Unpacking Two Constructs and Their Association.

Waters SF, Virmani EA, Thompson RA, Meyer S, Raikes HA, Jochem R - J Psychopathol Behav Assess (2009)

Bottom Line: A sample of 73 4 1/2-year-olds and their mothers were observed in an emotion regulation probe involving mild frustration for children, and mothers and children were later independently interviewed about how the child had felt.Mother-child conversations about recent events evoking children's negative emotion were also analyzed.Children's greater understanding of negative emotions was also significantly associated with higher mother-child concordance and less child conversational avoidance.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616 USA.

ABSTRACT
This study examined the association between the security of attachment and processes influencing the development of emotion regulation in young children. A sample of 73 4 1/2-year-olds and their mothers were observed in an emotion regulation probe involving mild frustration for children, and mothers and children were later independently interviewed about how the child had felt. Fewer than half the mothers agreed with children's self-reports in the emotion they attributed to children (a lower rate than the concordance of observer ratings with children's self-reports), and higher mother-child concordance was associated with secure attachment and mother's beliefs about the importance of attending to and accepting their own emotions. Mother-child conversations about recent events evoking children's negative emotion were also analyzed. Children were less likely to avoid conversing about negative feelings when they were in secure attachments and when mothers were more validating of the child's perspective. Children's greater understanding of negative emotions was also significantly associated with higher mother-child concordance and less child conversational avoidance. Taken together, these findings underscore the multiple influences of attachment on emotion regulation and the importance of children's emotion understanding to these processes.

No MeSH data available.


Interaction of attachment and parent validation in predicting children’s avoidance of negative emotion conversations
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Fig1: Interaction of attachment and parent validation in predicting children’s avoidance of negative emotion conversations

Mentions: Prior research indicates that the security of attachment interacts with maternal conversational quality in predicting young children’s emotion understanding and other outcomes, suggesting that the broader quality of the parent-child relationship is important to the influence of conversational style (Laible and Thompson 2000). Consequently, in the third step of the regression analysis, the interaction of security and validation was entered. The interaction term was significant, although attachment security was no longer a significant direct predictor of child avoidance. To understand the nature of this interaction further, the association between child avoidance and parent validation was graphed at one standard deviation above the mean, one standard deviation below the mean, and at the mean of scores for attachment security (Fig. 1). The figure indicates that the association between conversational validation and child avoidance was strongest for young children in the most insecure relationships with their mothers; this association was also apparent for children at the mean of attachment security. In each case, the slopes of the association between validation and avoidance were significant. By contrast, for children in the most secure attachment relationships, there was essentially no association between parent validation and child avoidance.Fig. 1


Emotion Regulation and Attachment: Unpacking Two Constructs and Their Association.

Waters SF, Virmani EA, Thompson RA, Meyer S, Raikes HA, Jochem R - J Psychopathol Behav Assess (2009)

Interaction of attachment and parent validation in predicting children’s avoidance of negative emotion conversations
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2821505&req=5

Fig1: Interaction of attachment and parent validation in predicting children’s avoidance of negative emotion conversations
Mentions: Prior research indicates that the security of attachment interacts with maternal conversational quality in predicting young children’s emotion understanding and other outcomes, suggesting that the broader quality of the parent-child relationship is important to the influence of conversational style (Laible and Thompson 2000). Consequently, in the third step of the regression analysis, the interaction of security and validation was entered. The interaction term was significant, although attachment security was no longer a significant direct predictor of child avoidance. To understand the nature of this interaction further, the association between child avoidance and parent validation was graphed at one standard deviation above the mean, one standard deviation below the mean, and at the mean of scores for attachment security (Fig. 1). The figure indicates that the association between conversational validation and child avoidance was strongest for young children in the most insecure relationships with their mothers; this association was also apparent for children at the mean of attachment security. In each case, the slopes of the association between validation and avoidance were significant. By contrast, for children in the most secure attachment relationships, there was essentially no association between parent validation and child avoidance.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: A sample of 73 4 1/2-year-olds and their mothers were observed in an emotion regulation probe involving mild frustration for children, and mothers and children were later independently interviewed about how the child had felt.Mother-child conversations about recent events evoking children's negative emotion were also analyzed.Children's greater understanding of negative emotions was also significantly associated with higher mother-child concordance and less child conversational avoidance.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616 USA.

ABSTRACT
This study examined the association between the security of attachment and processes influencing the development of emotion regulation in young children. A sample of 73 4 1/2-year-olds and their mothers were observed in an emotion regulation probe involving mild frustration for children, and mothers and children were later independently interviewed about how the child had felt. Fewer than half the mothers agreed with children's self-reports in the emotion they attributed to children (a lower rate than the concordance of observer ratings with children's self-reports), and higher mother-child concordance was associated with secure attachment and mother's beliefs about the importance of attending to and accepting their own emotions. Mother-child conversations about recent events evoking children's negative emotion were also analyzed. Children were less likely to avoid conversing about negative feelings when they were in secure attachments and when mothers were more validating of the child's perspective. Children's greater understanding of negative emotions was also significantly associated with higher mother-child concordance and less child conversational avoidance. Taken together, these findings underscore the multiple influences of attachment on emotion regulation and the importance of children's emotion understanding to these processes.

No MeSH data available.