Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2020

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Human Development and Family Studies

Major

Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Carl F Weems

Abstract

Parenting behaviors play an important role in healthy youth development and poor parenting behaviors place youth at risk of developing problem behaviors, mental health problems, and difficulties in emotional self-regulation. Parenting behaviors are influenced by parents’ psychological well-being and their ability to regulate their own emotions. This study seeks to identify the role of anxiety, emotion regulation abilities via self-report and high frequency heart rate variance (HF-HRV), and the interaction between anxiety and emotion regulation in predicting parenting behaviors. The main goal of this study was to determine if emotion regulation strengthens and/or buffers the relationship between parent psychopathology and poor parenting behaviors. Eighty caregivers completed self-report measures of parenting behaviors, anxiety, and emotion regulation, while HF-HRV was additionally measured in 74 of the caregivers during a resting state and stress task.

Three significant moderating effects of HF-HRV stress reactivity emerged. Trait anxiety by low HF-HRV reactivity predicted both negative parenting practices and poor monitoring, and somatization by low HF-HRV reactivity predicted poor monitoring. No significant findings emerged for self-reported emotion regulation. Findings suggested that poor emotion regulation, as indexed by physiological reactivity to stress, may strengthen the relationship between parent psychopathology and poor parenting behaviors. This study did not find a buffering effect of optimal emotion regulation abilities on the relationship between anxiety and parenting.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/etd-20200902-102

Copyright Owner

Bethany Hope McCurdy

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

75 pages

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