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Dev Psychol. 2003 Jan;39(1):3-19.

Longitudinal relations among parental emotional expressivity, children's regulation, and quality of socioemotional functioning.

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Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe 85287-1104, USA.


The role of regulation as a mediator of the relations between maternal emotional expressivity and children's adjustment and social competence was examined when children (N = 208) were 4.5 to just 8 years old (Time 1, T1) and 2 years later (Time 2, T2). At T2, as at T1, regulation mediated the relation between positive maternal emotional expressivity and children's functioning. When T1 relations and the stability of variables over time were controlled for in a structural equation model, T2 relations generally were nonsignificant, although parents' dominant negative expressivity predicted high regulation. In contrast, in regressions, the findings for parent positive expressivity, but not negative expressivity, held at T2 when T1 variables were controlled. Thus, relations for negative expressivity, but not positive expressivity, changed with age.

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