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Parents of children with developmental delays (DD) report higher levels of parenting stress compared to parents of typically developing children. High levels of parenting stress have been associated with negative outcomes for their children, including higher levels of emotion dysregulation. However, this relationship between parenting stress and child emotion dysregulation has rarely been examined in families of children with DD. Additionally, the mechanisms through which parenting stress influences child emotion dysregulation remain unclear; it may be that parenting stress impacts parenting behaviors (i.e., sensitive and intrusive parenting), which in turn influence the development of the child’s emotion regulatory abilities. In the current study, we employed a waitlist-control design to examine whether changes in parenting stress through Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) predict changes in emotion dysregulation among children with DD, as well as examine parenting behaviors that may mediate the impact of parenting stress on child emotion dysregulation. Eighty parents of children with DD between the ages of 2½ and 5 (M = 4.18, SD = 1.01) were randomly assigned to an immediate treatment or waitlist-control group. Results indicated that reductions in parenting stress through MBSR significantly predicted reductions in child emotion dysregulation. Regarding mechanisms, only intrusive parenting was found to significantly mediate the relationship between parenting stress and child emotion dysregulation. These findings suggest that by intervening with parents of children with DD early on, there may be a spillover effect on their children, reducing the rates of emotion dysregulation that are common in this population.
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- Parenting Stress and Emotion Dysregulation among Children with Developmental Delays: The Role of Parenting Behaviors
Cameron L. Neece
- Springer US