Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (adapted from Investigator's abstract): The manner in which
children manage their own emotions is crucial to their success in school, at
home, and in life. The aim of this longitudinal study is to examine how
parental socialization of emotion during the period rapid language development
influences the development of effective emotional self-regulation in
preschoolers. A community-based sample of 18 month olds and their parents are
followed from 1.5 to 4 years of age. It is predicted that the level of a
child's language during these years, affects a child's ability to self-regulate
emotions at age 4. We predict that the quality of self-regulation predicts
child behavior problems with social competence. These developmental processes
are studied in families in a lower range of family income because there is
likely to be more risk of emotional stress in these families. Economic stress
associated with lower income is known to be a risk factor for parents and for
their children's social competence and probability of behavior problems. The
study includes assessment of how economic stress, marital conflict, and
parenting hassles affect the ways in which families interact about emotional
events and how this affects the child's ability to develop new and more
effective ways to manage emotion when adult support is not available.

The participants of the study are 150 families with an 18-month old boy or girl
at the first visit. During the three years of the child's life under study, the
family is visited at home 4 times and the mother and child visit the lab 4
times. The findings will assist in building a theoretical model for the role of
language in the socialization of adaptive emotional functioning and in risk for
behavior problems.
Effective start/end date4/6/013/31/08


  • National Institute of Mental Health: $341,695.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $423,864.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $361,179.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $444,755.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $277,846.00


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