Caregiver emotional expressiveness, child emotion regulation, and child behavior problems among head start families

Dana Charles McCoy, C. Cybele Raver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The present study examined the relationships between caregivers' self-reported positive and negative emotional expressiveness, observer assessments of children's emotion regulation, and teachers' reports of children's internalizing and externalizing behaviors in a sample of 97 primarily African American and Hispanic Head Start families. Results indicated that higher caregiver negativity and lower child emotion regulation independently predicted more internalizing behavior problems in children. Additionally, children's externalizing behavior problems were negatively predicted by caregivers' self-reports of positive emotional expressiveness. Importantly, results also suggested that caregivers' emotional expressiveness and children's behavioral problems may be non-linearly related, and that child gender may play an important moderating role. These results emphasize the importance of family emotional climate and child emotion regulation in the behavioral development of preschool-age children, and highlight the need for improved theoretical and practical understanding of socioemotional development in diverse populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-761
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Development
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011

Keywords

  • Behavior problems
  • Emotion regulation
  • Poverty
  • Socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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