Harsh parenting in relation to child emotion regulation and aggression

J Fam Psychol. 2003 Dec;17(4):598-606. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.17.4.598.


This study presents a model of harsh parenting that has an indirect effect, as well as a direct effect, on child aggression in the school environment through the mediating process of child emotion regulation. Tested on a sample of 325 Chinese children and their parents, the model showed adequate goodness of fit. Also investigated were interaction effects between parents' and children's gender. Mothers' harsh parenting affected child emotion regulation more strongly than fathers', whereas harsh parenting emanating from fathers had a stronger effect on child aggression. Fathers' harsh parenting also affected sons more than daughters, whereas there was no gender differential effect with mothers' harsh parenting. These results are discussed with an emphasis on negative emotionality as a potentially common cause of family perturbations, including parenting and child adjustment problems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjustment Disorders / diagnosis
  • Adjustment Disorders / psychology*
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / psychology
  • Child, Preschool
  • China
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Emotions*
  • Father-Child Relations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Male
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Only Child / psychology
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Personality Assessment
  • Socialization