This study examined early childhood predictors of adaptive emotion regulation among economically disadvantaged urban African American children. Vagal tone (VNA), attachment, and regulation capacities were assessed among 69 preschoolers. Two years later, additional indices of child regulation were obtained for 56 of the children. Emotion regulation was assessed through observation, child self-report, parent report, and teacher report. As expected, attachment and VNA were not significantly correlated. Surprisingly, there were few significant main effects for attachment or VNA on child emotion regulation. However, significant interactions were found between VNA and attachment on a number of measures of regulation. Among children who were securely attached, high baseline VNA tended to predict better regulation abilities. The opposite pattern was found for children with insecure attachments. Findings suggest that the development of adaptive regulation capacities is a function of complex interactions among biological and social processes. Additionally, this study illustrates the importance of validating constructs with lower-income African American children that have been shown to predict regulation among middle-income Caucasian children.
Kidwell, Shari L. and Barnett, Douglas
"Adaptive Emotion Regulation among Low-Income
African American Children,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 53
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol53/iss2/2