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NCJ Number: 201760 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Regulating Emotion in Parent-Child and Peer Relationships: A Comparison of Sexually Maltreated and Nonmaltreated Girls
Journal: Child Maltreatment  Volume:8  Issue:3  Dated:August 2003  Pages:163-172
Author(s): Kimberly Shipman Ph.D.; Janice Zeman Ph.D.; Monica Fitzgerald M.S.; Lisa M. Swisher Ph.D.
Date Published: August 2003
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
Grant Number: 2 T32MH15780
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the effects of sexual maltreatment on the development of emotion regulation strategies in girls.
Abstract: The functionalist approach to emotional development underscores the importance of emotion regulation to children’s socioemotional competence and the role that emotion regulation strategies play in properly adapting to social environments. Research on normative emotional development suggests that emotion regulation skills are learned in interpersonal contexts, especially within parent-child relationships. As such, in order to explore the effect of atypical socialization experiences, such as sexual maltreatment, on emotion regulation strategies, the authors compared the emotion regulation skills of 22 sexually maltreated girls to those of 22 nonmaltreated girls who were between the ages of 6 and 12. Measures included the Emotion Management Interview, in which a series of four vignettes that have been demonstrated to elicit anger and sadness were presented to each participant. Results of repeated measures of analyses of variance (ANOVA) indicated that the sexually maltreated girls reported different goals for managing their emotional expressivity with their parents. The maltreated girls also reported expecting less support and more conflict from parents in response to emotional displays on their part. Maltreated girls also expected less support from all social partners in response to their emotional displays. No group differences, however, were noted for the ability to generate effective strategies for coping with emotionally arousing situations. This main finding is surprising from a functionalist perspective that emphasizes the importance of parental support to children’s ability to generate effective coping strategies. Limitations of the study include the fact that it was conducted with only girls; future research should examine potential gender differences on emotion regulation skills in maltreating families. Tables, appendix, notes, and references
Main Term(s): Child development
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Parental influence; Psychiatry
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