Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Psychological and Brain Sciences
Child anxiety; Emotion understanding; Emotion socialization; Cardiac reactivity; Emotion regulation
Anxiety in children; Parent and child--Psychological aspects; Parenting--Social aspects; Emotional intelligence
The prevalence of child anxiety is high and anxiety disorders are often left untreated throughout childhood and adolescence. Many studies have focused on the role of parenting in understanding the development of anxiety during childhood. Given the importance of the parent-child relationship in a child's development of emotional competence, the role of the parent in facilitating their child's emotional development was proposed here to provide a more specific method of assessing the impact of parenting on risk for developing anxiety. Specifically, the current study hypothesized that parent emotion socialization would predict child emotional development. Further, the study sought to build upon the existing literature by examining the role of the child's physiological responsiveness in the relationship between parent emotion socialization and child's emotional competence. Finally, this study hypothesized that these constructs and the relationships among them would significantly predict symptoms of child anxiety. Children were recruited from schools and various local organizations. A total of 85 parent and child dyads participated in the study. Overall, hypotheses were partially supported. The broad constructs of emotion understanding and emotion regulation were not significantly associated with one another. The individual factors comprising emotion regulation were significantly positively associated with cardiac variability. In terms of parenting, parents who reported higher degrees of unsupportive parental responses to negative child emotions were more likely to have children with fever abilities in both emotion understanding and emotion regulation. Supportive parent responses failed to predict child emotion understanding or emotion regulation. Cardiac responsiveness was found to mediate the relationship between unsupportive emotion socialization and emotion regulation. Further, this model was marginally significant in predicting child anxiety symptoms. Findings are discussed in terms of theoretical implications and suggestions for future work are made.
Williams, Sarah Ramsey, "Modeling risk for the development of child anxiety : the role of parent emotion socialization practices, children's emotional competence, and physiological responsiveness." (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 1579.