Parent–child attachment is robustly associated with typical patterns of emotion regulation but rarely examined in relation to changes in emotion in response to events. We studied how attachment is related to emotion reactivity to positive and negative events and to immediate and delayed emotion recovery from social exclusion. The sample (78% White, 46% girls) included 110 children (9–12 years). Children completed a story stem measure that was scored for security, avoidance, ambivalence, and disorganization. Emotion reactivity and recovery were assessed with child-reported and observer positive affect and negative affect ratings. Parents rated child temperament. More avoidant children showed dampened emotion responding (low reactivity and recovery), whereas more ambivalent children showed heightened emotion responding (high reactivity and recovery). Attachment security, disorganization, and temperament were not consistently related to emotion reactivity or recovery. The findings highlight that emotion regulation occurs in response to contextual changes and is related to attachment.
Kerns, Kathryn A.; Kochendorfer, Logan B.; Obeldobel, Carli A.; and Brumariu, Laura E.
"Parent–Child Attachment and Emotion Regulation Dynamics in Late Middle Childhood,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 69:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol69/iss1/4