Transdiagnostic Implications of Parental Socialization of Child and Adolescent Emotions

A recent study examined the implications of a range of parental emotion socialization behaviors in the context of adaptive and maladaptive child and adolescent emotional development—with consideration to both, parent and child factors within transactional models.

Evidence suggests that parent emotion socialization plays a crucial role in the child’s emotional development. Adaptive emotion socialization practices can enable children in regulating their owm emotions. These practices are of transdiagnsotic significance – maladaptive practices can trigger internalizing and externalizing problem in children.

Despite the fact that parent emotion socialization influences the risk for psychopathology in the child, their effects are not universal and the child’s characteristics also play an important part in their emotional development. Hence, accounting for both, the parents’ and the child’s factors in transactional models is essential. 

There exists a need for longitudinal emotion socialization research and incorporations of alternative interpretations. The implementation of updated multi-method approaches is warranted, such that both parental and the child perceptions are recorded. 

In addition, most parent emotion socialization interventions focus on young children. One study developed the novel Parental Assistance with Child Emotion Regulation (PACER) rating scale. PACER assesses the degree of parental influence on emotion regulation strategies among children and adolescents (from birth until adulthood), and allows researchers to examine developmental shifts within longitudinal studies.

Certain PACER subscales showed links to internalizing and externalizing problems among children underscoring the specific parenting methods in emotion regulation support that correlated to youth psychopathology.

Source: Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology. 2022 Jan;50(1):1-11. doi: 10.1007/s10802-021-00864-3.

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