Date of Award

2002

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Allan Berman

Abstract

The current study explores the expression of emotion coping behaviors in the developmental context of temperamental and socialization experiences. 45 30- month-olds, whose families were involved in a larger longitudinal study, participated in a laboratory assessment including 4 contexts designed to provide an experience of stress for the child. Child coping behaviors were coded according to a system by Grolnick (1996) which rates behaviors along a continuum of adaptiveness from focusing on the course of frustration, to self-comforting and other-directed behaviors, to behavior that is re-oriented toward the environment. Correlations were run between coping data and data on child temperament and parenting styles, which was collected from videotaped home visits at 8 and 14 months as well as from parent report measures collected at 4, 8, 14 and 30 months. Findings from the study suggest that children who demonstrated coping strategies conceptualized as low to moderately adaptive tended to display greater amounts of negative affect. Individual differences in child temperament were found to be significantly associated with child use of adaptive coping strategies while differences in parenting style were not. Suggestions are discussed for increased sensitivity of child assessment measures and further exploration of specific strategy selection and success across varying contexts.

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