Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Morris, Amanda

Second Advisor

Weems, Carl

Third Advisor

Scheeringa, Michael

Fourth Advisor

Heller, Sheryl


The current investigation examines the relationship between parenting, emotion regulation, and symptoms of psychopathology in maltreating and non-maltreating parent-child dyads. The participants in this study were 114 children (67 maltreated and 57 non-maltreated) from ages 1 to 4. Child affect and effortful control along with parent affect were observed during a parentchild interaction procedure. Symptoms of psychopathology were measured using the Child Behavior Checklist. The maltreated children in this study exhibited more irritability/anger, affect lability, and internalizing symptomatology, along with less positive affect than their non-maltreated peers. These data also suggest that parental affect is related to internalizing symptomatology; but this relationship is stronger for the maltreated group. Contrary to expectations emotion regulation did not fully mediate the relationship between parenting and psychopathology. Clusters of maladaptive affect, "angry" and "labile", emerged in the maltreated group along with a more "resilient" group characterized by positive affect, positive parental affect, and lower levels of psychopathology.


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