Concurrent and longitudinal links between children's externalizing behavior in school and observed anger regulation in the mother-child dyad

Amanda Morris, Jennifer S. Silk, Laurence Steinberg, Andrew M. Terranova, Mumbe Kithakye

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Abstract

Two studies examined relations between children's anger regulation and externalizing behavior utilizing community samples. The first study included 58 children from preschool through second grade and examined concurrent associations between regulation and externalizing behavior. The second study included 40 preschool and kindergarten children and examined regulation and externalizing behavior 2 years later. In both studies, anger reactivity and regulation strategies were assessed during home visits using the same observational task. In study 1, teachers completed a problem behavior checklist shortly after the home visit. In study 2, teachers completed a problem behavior checklist 2 years later. Results indicate that the dysregulation of anger is associated with externalizing problems concurrently and two years later. Findings also suggest that attention refocusing may be a successful strategy for reducing anger and externalizing problems among highly reactive children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-56
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010

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Keywords

  • Anger
  • Attention
  • Emotion regulation
  • Externalizing problems

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