Parental Expressivity, Child Physiological and Behavioral Regulation, and Child Adjustment: Testing a Three-Path Mediation Model Academic Article uri icon


  • Research Findings: Parental expressivity, child physiological regulation (indexed by respiratory sinus arrhythmia suppression), child behavioral regulation, and child adjustment outcomes were examined in 45 children (M age =4.32 years, SD =1.30) and their parents. With the exception of child adjustment (i.e., internalizing and externalizing problems and adaptive skills), which were assessed with parents' ratings, all variables were observed behaviorally or physiologically. A 3-path mediation path model was tested with the relations between parental expressivity and child adjustment outcomes mediated through child physiological regulation and behavioral regulation. Despite low power to detect the mediated effect, there was evidence to suggest that physiological regulation and behavioral regulation were 2 mediating mechanisms by which parental high positive/low negative expressivity may influence adaptive skills. Thus, parental expressivity may shape children's physiological regulation. And physiological regulation may be 1 mechanism by which effortful control becomes manifested as behavioral regulation that becomes apparent to others who then make evaluations about individuals' adaptive skills. Practice or Policy: The results have implications for interventions aimed at parent training or parental coaching of emotion as well as interventions aimed at enhancing children's social-emotional or behavioral regulation to improve children's adaptive skills. 2011 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Liew, J., Johnson, A. Y., Smith, T. R., & Thoemmes, F.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Liew, Jeffrey||Johnson, Audrea Y||Smith, Tracy R||Thoemmes, Felix

publication date

  • January 2011