Emotion regulation and parenting: A longitudinal study of parents with preschoolers

Si Si TAO, Yi Hung Eva LAU

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

Parenting is an important predictor to children’s development. Parental warmth, for example, is positively related with parent-child relationship and children’s well adjustment (reviewed by Khaleque, 2013). In contrast, strategies of parental control (e.g., love withdraw) may raise children’s internalizing and externalizing problems thus bring negative outcomes to their development (reviewed by Olsen et al., 2002). While pervious research links better parental emotion regulation to positive parenting and poor parental emotion regulation to maladaptive parenting (Crandall, Deater-Deckard, & Riley, 2015), most of these studies have been cross-sectional. As parent-child dyads are not static but change over time, longitudinal studies are needed to understand how parents’ emotion regulation affect parenting behavior with time. The current study was therefore aimed at investigating the longitudinal effects of parental emotion regulation on parenting behavior. Participants were 312 parents of children from 5 kindergartens in Hong Kong (Mather = 158, Father = 154; M of mother’s age = 35.7, SD = 4.68; M of father’s age = 40.1, SD = 6.27). At both time 1 (November 2017) and time 2 (May 2018), parents reported on their own emotion regulation (reappraisal and suppression) and parenting behaviors (warmth and control) by survey. Reappraisal is indicative of positive emotion regulation that refers to rethinking one’s outlook, while suppression is indicative of poor emotion regulation that means hiding one’s emotions (Gross & John, 2003). Results revealed that for mothers, time 1 (T1) maternal reappraisal was a significant predictor for time 2 (T2) warmth. However, no significant prediction was found between suppression and maternal control. As for fathers, paternal suppression was not significantly predictive of T2 control. No significant prediction was found between father’s reappraisal and warmth. As previous cross-sectional studies identified that better emotion regulation was associated with positive parenting, findings of this study expanded the literature by providing the longitudinal evidence to the relations of reappraisal and maternal warmth. It was appealed that mother’s emotional regulation training should be involved in parental intervention programs for the purpose of increasing maternal warmth and in turn, promote children’s well-being. Copyright © 2019 20th Pacific Early Childhood Education Research Association International Conference (PECERA).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

Citation

Tao, S. S., & Lau, Y. H. (2019, July). Emotion regulation and parenting: A longitudinal study of parents with preschoolers. Paper presented at The 20th Pacific Early Childhood Education Research Association International Conference (PECERA): Childhood of Tomorrow, Howard Civil Service International House, Taipei, Taiwan.

Keywords

  • PG student publication

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Emotion regulation and parenting: A longitudinal study of parents with preschoolers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.