Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Morris, Amanda

Second Advisor

Weems, Carl

Third Advisor

Goldstein, Sara

Fourth Advisor

Scheeringa, Michael

Fifth Advisor

Heller, Sherryl Scott


Emotion regulation has been recognized as a fundamental process in early socioemotional development; however, investigation into the relations between parenting styles, practices, and emotion regulation in maltreating families has been severely lacking in the literature. The current study observationally examined the relations between specific parenting practices, parenting styles, and maltreated children's emotion regulation examining the same child with both a maltreating and non-maltreating caregiver. The findings of this study indicate that parenting practices within both maltreating and non-maltreating caregivers affect child emotion regulation and emotionality. Positive, supportive parenting increases child effortful control and positive affect while decreasing anger. Alternately, negative, controlling parenting increases child anger and decreases effortful control and positive affect. Furthermore, a harsh, controlling parenting style along with negative parenting practices increases child negativity among maltreating dyads, whereas, with non-maltreating caregivers, positive parenting practices are more related to positive emotionality in children within a warm and supportive emotional climate. Across maltreating and non-maltreating caregivers, findings indicated that positive parenting behaviors combined with a warm parenting style increase emotional regulation in maltreated children. Taken together the findings of this study indicated that the family emotional climate, including factors such as parental warmth and hostility, marital satisfaction, and social support, can affect the relations between maltreatment, parenting, and child emotional regulation and may even mitigate the negative effects on adjustment. Intervention and prevention work aimed at increasing maltreated children’s emotional regulation abilities should build strengths within families by teaching positive parenting behaviors and working to create a warmer, more supportive family emotional climate as early in development as possible.


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