Parent emotion representations and the socialization of emotion regulation in the family

Sara Meyer, H. Abigail Raikes, Elita A. Virmani, Sara Waters, Ross A. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


There is considerable knowledge of parental socialization processes that directly and indirectly influence the development of children's emotion self-regulation, but little understanding of the specific beliefs and values that underlie parents' socialization approaches. This study examined multiple aspects of parents' self-reported emotion representations and their associations with parents' strategies for managing children's negative emotions and children's emotion self-regulatory behaviors. The sample consisted of 73 mothers of 4-5-year-old children; the sample was ethnically diverse. Two aspects of parents' beliefs about emotion - the importance of attention to/acceptance of emotional reactions, and the value of emotion self-regulation - were associated with both socialization strategies and children's self-regulation. Furthermore, in mediational models, the association of parental representations with children's emotion regulation was mediated by constructive socialization strategies. These findings are among the first to highlight the specific kinds of emotion representations that are associated with parents' emotion socialization, and their importance to family processes shaping children's emotional development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-173
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • emotion
  • emotion regulation
  • parent emotion representations
  • parent-child relations
  • socialization of emotion regulation in the family

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Parent emotion representations and the socialization of emotion regulation in the family'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this