Parents’ orientation to emotion, children’s emotion regulation and internalizing behavior: A longitudinal mediation model

Sisi TAO, Eva Y. H. LAU, Haocai HONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

To date, we have a limited understanding of how parental orientation to children’s emotion (i.e., parents’ awareness/understanding of their children’s emotions) influences the development of child internalizing behavior via children’s emotion regulation (regulation) and lability-negativity (lability). Our paper examined the longitudinal associations between parental orientation to children’s emotion and children’s internalizing behavior, and whether child regulation and lability mediated the relations. Using a stratified convenience sampling strategy, 682 parents of 341 preschool children were recruited from three kindergartens in Guangzhou, China. Parents completed questionnaires that recorded demographic information, orientation to emotion, and their children’s internalizing behavior at time 1 (T1, October 2019), children’s regulation and lability at time 2 (T2, February 2020), and children’s internalizing behavior at time 3 (T3, June 2020). Results supported a longitudinal association between parental orientation to emotion at T1 and child internalizing behavior at T3 mediated by T2 child regulation and lability. For both parents, orientation to emotion was positively associated with child regulation, and child regulation was negatively associated with child internalizing behaviors. For mothers only, orientation to emotion was negatively associated with child lability, and child lability was positively associated with child internalizing behaviors. Findings of our study highlight the importance of parents’ orientation to children’s emotion in child emotional and behavioral outcomes. Therapeutic interventions for parents should aim to improve parents’ awareness and understanding of children’s emotions. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Early online dateApr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Apr 2022

Citation

Tao, S., Lau, E. Y. H., & Hong, H. (2022). Parents’ orientation to emotion, children’s emotion regulation and internalizing behavior: A longitudinal mediation model. Journal of Child and Family Studies. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10826-022-02319-9

Keywords

  • Orientation to emotion
  • Emotional awareness
  • Internalizing behavior
  • Emotion regulation
  • Lability-negativity
  • PG student publication

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Parents’ orientation to emotion, children’s emotion regulation and internalizing behavior: A longitudinal mediation model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.