Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Program Name/Specialization

Developmental Psychology

Faculty/School

Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Dr. Danielle Law

Advisor Role

Supervised the entire thesis

Abstract

The capacity to independently regulate emotions occupies a central role in children’s physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing as they progress through their development. The influence of adverse childhood experiences on the absence of attuned emotion self-regulation (ESR) abilities has been recurringly linked to, and coupled with, a range of adverse developmental outcomes for children and adolescents, such as internalizing problem behaviours (i.e., anxiety) and externalizing problem behaviours (i.e., peer bullying and victimization). Although exposure to interparental conflict has been widely associated with such short- and long-term adverse effects for children’s physical, emotional, social, and behavioural development, further investigation is needed to better understand how differential levels of exposure to interparental conflict may directly impact children and adolescents’ ESR abilities and related problem behaviour. This retrospective, cross-sectional study with 479 adolescent students aged 17-19 years examined the association of children’s exposure to interparental conflict within their household, and degree of ESR capacity and related problem behaviour during adolescence. Multiple regression analyses were employed to explore a path model and respond to the following research question: How does exposure to different levels of interparental conflict during childhood differentially predict ESR and problem behaviour during adolescence, and how might parent-child relationship quality moderate this link? Findings revealed that ESR significantly predicted problem behaviour, and parent-child relationship quality significantly moderated the association between interparental conflict and children’s ESR. The findings of this work can be leveraged to inform interventional therapeutic and counselling practices to support the overall wellbeing of children and families.

Convocation Year

2022

Convocation Season

Fall

Available for download on Wednesday, February 15, 2023

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