Parental emotion coaching moderates the effects of family stress on internalizing symptoms in middle childhood and adolescence

Frances M. Lobo, Erika Lunkenheimer, Rachel G. Lucas-Thompson, Natasha S. Seiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study examined the moderating effects of parental meta-emotion philosophy on the relation between family stress and youth internalizing symptoms. A two-study approach was applied to explore these relations in socioeconomically diverse samples with respect to a self-reported parental emotion coaching (EC) and parental emotion dismissing (ED) meta-emotion philosophy in Study 1 (N = 153; youth ages 10–17 years; 52% female; 49% White, 26% multiracial, 17% African American, 6% Asian American, 1% Latinx, and 1% American Indian) and observed parental EC and ED behaviors in whole-family interactions in Study 2 (N = 82; youth ages 8–11.75 years; 52% female; 57% White, 22% African American, 19% multiracial, and 2% Asian). Across both studies, EC was a buffer such that positive associations between family stress and youth internalizing symptoms were only present when parental EC philosophy or EC behaviors were lower. Additionally, in Study 1, more EC was protective: the relation between family stress and youth internalizing symptoms was negative when parental EC philosophy was higher. Findings suggest parental EC buffers youth internalizing symptoms from the detrimental effects of family stress. Therefore, the inclusion of family-level risk processes and the effects of both parental beliefs and observed parenting behaviors can inform research on youth psychosocial adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSocial Development
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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