Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation

12-2017

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department

Psychological and Brain Sciences

Degree Program

Clinical Psychology, PhD

Committee Chair

Rosen, Paul

Committee Member

Woodruff-Borden, Janet

Committee Member

Cashon, Cara

Committee Member

Stetson, Barbara

Committee Member

Adelson, Jill

Author's Keywords

ADHD; emotion socialization; parenting

Abstract

Emotional competence (EC) represents several distinct emotional skills found to be strongly associated with children’s socioemotional outcomes. EC is thought to develop through a process known as emotion socialization (ES), whereby children’s emotions and emotion-based behaviors are socialized through interactions with parents and/or other primary figures. The present study examined ES across families of children with and without ADHD in order to clarify the role ES plays in the development of EC in typically developing (TD) children versus children more prone to EC impairments due to intrapersonal characteristics (e.g., inattention, disinhibition, etc.). Forty-eight children 5 to 8-years-old (23 with ADHD, 25 without ADHD) and their mothers completed measures/tasks assessing children’s EC, mothers’ emotion regulation, and mothers’ direct ES behaviors (e.g., mothers’ reactions to children’s negative emotions; quality of mother-child emotion discussions). Bivariate analyses were examined to determine which covariates to include in primary analyses. Hierarchical regression analyses suggested mothers’ personal emotion suppression contributed to usage of less supportive direct ES behaviors across children with and without ADHD and less discriminate usage of nonsupportive direct ES behaviors based on children’s ADHD diagnostic status. Additionally, findings indicated the quality of mother-child emotion discussions was differentially associated with children’s adaptive emotion regulation based on child ADHD diagnostic status. . Overall, the current study represents an important initial step towards understanding how ES functions and contributes to the EC of early elementary-aged children with and without ADHD.

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