A Cross-Sectional Examination of the Internalization of Emotion Co-regulatory Support in Children with ASD
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Cross-sectional data from Fenning et al. (J Autism Dev Disord, 48:3858–3870, 2018) were used to examine age differences in processes related to the development of emotion regulation in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Forty-six children with ASD between the ages of 4 and 11 years and their primary caregivers participated in structured laboratory tasks from which parental scaffolding and child dysregulation were coded. Moderation analyses suggested increased internalization of parental co-regulatory support with age, as evidenced by more coherence in dysregulation across dyadic and independent contexts and a stronger inverse relation between parental scaffolding and independent dysregulation. Children’s estimated mental age did not account for these effects. Implications for understanding and promoting the development of emotion regulation in children with ASD are discussed.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Emotion regulation Parent–child interaction Co-regulation Cross-sectional
This project was funded by an intramural grant from the California State University, Fullerton, as well as a Grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R15HD087877) awarded to the first two authors. Preliminary findings were presented at the 2017 Convention for the American Psychological Association.
JB, RF, and JM conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, performed the measurement and drafted the manuscript. JB performed the statistical analysis. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of our institutional and the national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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