Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Douglas Barnett


The development of emotion regulation continues to be considered a cornerstone to adaptive child development. However, studies have yet to integrate early relationship, child-centered factors, and socio-demographic factors, from infancy through middle childhood, in an attempt to look at emotional regulation development over time. By utilizing latent growth curve modeling, the current study aimed to extend understanding of how child-centered factors (temperament and language skill) and socio-demographic factors (gender, ethnicity, and family resources) affect the development of emotion regulation from 3rd to 6th grades, within the context of early attachment relationships. Stability in emotion regulation in the general sample, as well as in each attachment style was observed. While no differences among initial levels of emotion regulation or developmental trajectories was found among attachment styles, differential effects were found for child-centered factors and socio-environmental factors. For those evidencing secure and insecure-avoidant attachment, African American children had less emotion regulation difficulty compared to Caucasian children. Additionally, for those securely attached, difficult temperament was positively associated with emotion regulation difficulty while language skill was negatively associated. Finally, for those with secure attachment, gender was predictive of slope, such that boys' emotion regulation difficulties decrease over time compared to girls'. Findings suggest potential resilience factors for the general population as well as high-risk youth and highlight the continued importance of considering attachment and child-centered variables, as well as socio-demographic factors when studying emotion regulation.