Intergenerational transmission of emotion dysregulation: The role of authoritarian parenting style and family chronic stress
Shaw, Z. A., & Starr, L. R. (2019). Intergenerational transmission of emotion dysregulation: The role of authoritarian parenting style and family chronic stress. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28, 3508–3518. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-019-01534-1
Abstract Created by REACH:
Emotion dysregulation can be transmitted across generations such that parents’ difficulty regulating emotions can negatively impact how their children regulate their emotions. Authoritarian parenting (i.e., strict control over children while expressing little warmth) may be one way in which parental emotion dysregulation impacts children’s emotion dysregulation, particularly if the family environment is stressful. Guided by several theoretical frameworks (i.e., family socialization of emotion regulation, and stress and coping theory), this study of 218 mother-adolescent pairs examined the associations between mothers’ emotion dysregulation, authoritarian parenting, family stress, and adolescents’ emotion dysregulation. The results revealed that mothers’ emotion dysregulation was associated with their authoritarian parenting, which, in turn was associated with adolescents’ emotion dysregulation. These associations were generally stronger in families with higher levels of family stress.
Adolescence (13 - 17 yrs)
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)
Shaw, Zoey A., Starr, Lisa R.
Objectives: Although studies support a direct association between parent and child emotion regulation, little work has considered potential mechanisms, such as family context. For example, parents who have difficulty regulating their emotions may be more likely to adopt an authoritarian parenting style, especially under high family chronic stress, and this parenting style may then influence children's development of emotion regulation. The current study examined authoritarian parenting style as a potential mechanism of the intergenerational transmission of emotion regulation. We also examined how maternal emotion regulation and family chronic stress interact to influence parenting behaviors. Methods: A total of 218 mother-adolescent dyads (M age = 15.5 years, 55% female) were recruited from the community and assessed using a mix of self-report measures of emotion dysregulation and parenting style, and interview-based measures of family chronic stress. Results: Results showed maternal emotion dysregulation predicted authoritarian parenting style that, in turn, predicted adolescent emotion dysregulation, with a significant indirect effect. Family chronic stress strengthened the association between maternal emotion dysregulation and authoritarian parenting style, such that the indirect effect of maternal emotion regulation on adolescent emotion regulation via authoritarian parenting style was stronger at high levels of chronic stress. Conclusions: Results suggest that authoritarian parenting style and family chronic stress serve as important factors in the intergenerational transmission of emotion regulation.
Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, University of Rochester, ZAS
Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, University of Rochester, LRS
adolescents, authoritarian parenting style, emotion regulation, family chronic stress, intergenerational transmission
REACH Publication Type:
This study was funded by the University of Rochester.