Info

Other behavior

-.32*

-.22***

Passive

-.20***

-.26**

Our results (see Table 1.3) showed that mothers who used more ongoing active engagement in the parent-active situation had children who were more distressed in the parent-passive situation (controlling for distress in the parent-active situation). Interestingly, this finding did not occur for mother-initiated active engagement, indicating that it is not mothers' responses per se (which tend to be reactions to child distress) but, rather, the maintenance of engagement despite decreases in distress that appears to undermine children's self-regulation. Mothers who were more passive in the parent-active situation had children who were less distressed when required to regulate with relative independence.

These results suggest that mothers who behave in a controlling manner with regard to their children's emotion regulation, either by maintaining strategies beyond what the child needs to decrease distress or by not allowing opportunities for children to practice more self-regulating strategies, may undermine their children's capacities to develop more autonomous self-regulatory capacities. On the other hand, mothers who provide their children with opportunities to actively regulate, while being available to provide assistance when needed, encourage the internalization of emotion regulation strategies.

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