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Unformatted text preview: The Role of the Family Context in the Development of Emotion Regulation Amanda Sheffield Morris, Oklahoma State University , Jennifer S. Silk, University of Pittsburgh , Laurence Steinberg, Temple University , Sonya S. Myers and Lara Rachel Robinson, University of New Orleans Abstract This article reviews current literature examining associations between components of the family context and children and adolescents emotion regulation (ER). The review is organized around a tripartite model of familial influence. Firstly, it is posited that children learn about ER through observational learning, modeling and social refer- encing. Secondly, parenting practices specifically related to emotion and emotion management affect ER. Thirdly, ER is affected by the emotional climate of the family via parenting style, the attachment relationship, family expressiveness and the marital relationship. The review ends with discussions regarding the ways in which child characteristics such as negative emotionality and gender affect ER, how socialization practices change as children develop into adolescents, and how parent characteristics such as mental health affect the socialization of ER. Keywords : emotion regulation; context; family; parenting In the last two decades, there has been a substantial increase in psychology and popular cultures interest in human emotionality and the ways in which individuals express and manage emotions (e.g., Cole, Martin, & Dennis, 2004; Denham, 1998; Eisenberg & Fabes, 1992; Fox, 1994; Garber & Dodge, 1991; Goleman, 1995). This interest is due in part to an increase in developmental research and theory suggesting that an essential component of childrens successful development is learning how to regulate emotional responses and related behaviors in socially appropriate and adaptive ways (Denham et al., 2003; Eisenberg, Spinrad, & Morris, 2002; Halberstadt, Denham, & Dunsmore, 2001; Kopp, 1992; Saarni, 1990). Research in developmental psychopathology also stresses the role of emotion regulation (ER) in development, and has linked difficulty in regulating negative emotions such as anger and sadness to emotional and behavioral problems (Cicchetti, Ackerman, & Izard, 1995; Eisenberg, Cumberland, et al., 2001; Eisenberg, Guthrie, et al., 1997; Frick & Morris, 2004; Silk, Steinberg, & Morris, 2003). Many factors influence the development of ER. Child temperament, neurophysiol- ogy and cognitive development all play important roles (Eisenberg & Morris, 2002; Correspondence should be addressed to Amanda Sheffield Morris, Department of Human Devel- opment and Family Science, Oklahoma State University, Main Hall 2403, Tulsa, OK 74106-0700, USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9507.2007.00389.x Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2007. Published by Blackwell Publishing, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA. Goldsmith & Davidson, 2004). Nonetheless, emotions are recognized as both productsGoldsmith & Davidson, 2004)....
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