The Role of the Family Context in the Development of Emotion Regulation

Soc Dev. 2007 May 1;16(2):361-388. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9507.2007.00389.x.


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 referencing. 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.