Patterns of emotion regulation at two years of age: associations with mothers' attachment in a fear eliciting situation.Attach Hum Dev. 2016; 18(1):16-32.AH
The study aims at identifying patterns of mother-toddler emotion regulation and testing whether they are related to mothers' attachment. An Italian community sample (N = 38; 66% males) was followed longitudinally, with mothers' attachment collected through the Adult Attachment Interview at 14 months of child's age and mothers' and children's emotion regulation behaviors assessed through a fear-eliciting lab procedure when the child turned two years old. Two dyadic regulatory patterns were identified through a two-phased cluster analytic plan. Children characterized by one pattern approached, explored and played with the threatening stimulus, whereas children characterized by the other pattern tended to become frightened by this stimulus and avoided the object. The majority of children whose mothers were classified as secure displayed the first regulatory pattern. This finding contributes to extending understanding of how parental factors can influence the development of self-regulation.