The determinants of emotionally healthy parenting and the transmission of emotion regulation from parent to child
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 16:10 authored by Sue-Anne Greig
In recent years, there has been increased interest in the determinants of emotionally healthy development in young children. Major theoretical models identify parent characteristics, child characteristics and parenting behaviours in this emotional socialisation process. Little attention has been paid to the impact of parent personality and parent emotional functioning and their role in influencing parenting emotion based behaviours. Thus, the aim of this thesis was to empirically evaluate theory driven models of these factors to clarify the impact of parent emotional functioning on parenting behaviour. The relationships between parent personality, parent emotional intelligence and emotion based parenting practices were investigated using cross sectional and longitudinal designs and advanced statistical techniques including structural equation modelling and latent growth models. Three separate studies were conducted. The first study examined a cross sectional structural model of these parent factors in a large community sample of parents of pre-school age children. The second study comprised a 3 year longitudinal study examining these relationships over time and included child outcome measures. The third study investigated the possibility of improving parent emotional intelligence, emotion regulation skills and emotion coaching behaviours in a brief workshop format with parents of pre-schoolers. The results of these studies indicate that parent emotional attitudes and behaviours play an important role in parenting behaviour and child outcomes. Taken together, these studies advance our understanding of the relationships between these theoretically associated factors and their role in child emotional development. Understanding these relationships is critical to develop effective intervention and treatment programs.