The roles of temperamental dispositions and perceived parenting
behaviours in the use of two emotion regulation strategies in
Madeleine Jaffe, Eleonora Gullone
, Elizabeth K. Hughes
School of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Psychological Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria 3800, Australia
article info abstract
Received 9 September 2008
Received in revised form 3 July 2009
Accepted 15 July 2009
Available online 6 September 2009
In recent years, emotion regulation has re-emerged in the literature as a fundamental component
of psychological functioning. Thepresent study investigated the independent and interactive roles
of temperamental dispositions and perceptions of parenting behaviors in the use of emotion
regulation (ER) strategies in late childhood. A sample of 293 children (grades 4–6) completed
measures of ER, temperament, and parenting behaviors. As hypothesized, higher scores on
temperament-based Approach and perceived parental Care were associated with greater use of
the ER strategy of Reappraisal, whereas lower levels of temperament-based Flexibility, Positive
Mood Quality and perceived parental Care were associated with greater use of the ER strategy of
Suppression. Results suggest that despite differing temperamental dispositions, the presence of a
nurturing and supportive caregiving environment is important for the development of adaptive
patterns of ER.
Crown Copyright © 2009 Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A fundamental and long awaited agenda for research into the aetiology and prevention of mental health problems involves a
more comprehensive understanding of the development of individual differences in emotional functioning and emotional
competence (Cole, Michel, & Teti, 1994). Of note, poor regulation of emotions is implicated in more than half of the Axis I disorders
included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and in all of the Axis II disorders (Gross & Levenson, 1997;
Repetti, Taylor, & Seeman, 2002). Difﬁculty regulating emotions is also predictive of poorer social competence and peer acceptance
(Gottman, Katz, & Hooven, 1996; Gross & John, 2003).
To date, research studies contributing to understanding in this important area have typically focused on infancy, early childhood
or adulthood. There remains a dearth of research examining the developmental periods of late childhood and adolescence. Given
that these periods mark critical turning points in children's acquisition of cognitive, social and emotional skills as well as their
development of autonomy (Cole et al., 1994; Gross & Munoz, 1995), research during these developmental periods is greatly needed.
According to Thompson (1994), the term emotion regulation (ER) refers to the processes, both extrinsic and intrinsic, that are
responsible for recognizing, monitoring, evaluating and modifying emotional reactions. ER processes involve the initiation,
enhancement and reduction of both positive and negative emotions (Gross, 1998b). The most adaptive means of expressing an
emotion is in a situation speciﬁc manner and is dependent on both the demands of the immediate social context, as well as the
goals of the individual (Cole et al., 1994; Gross & Thompson, 2007; Thompson, 1994; Thompson & Meyer, 2007). Inherent in this
deﬁnition is the notion that ER encompasses both internal self-management, initiated and accomplished by the individual, as well
Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 31 (2010) 47–59
This research was supported by an Australian Research Council grant [ARC DP0771180].
⁎ Corresponding author.
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (E. Gullone).
0193-3973/$ – see front matter. Crown Copyright © 2009 Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology