Does parents’ emotional regulation predict emotional regulation in children with and without DLD?

Aguilera, M., Ahufinger, N., Esteve-Gibert, N., Ferinu, L., Andreu, L., & Sanz-Torrent, M. (2021). Vocabulary Abilities and Parents’ Emotional Regulation Predict Emotional Regulation in School-Age Children but Not Adolescents With and Without Developmental Language Disorder. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.748283


Aim of this paper:


Children with DLD have higher levels of emotional difficulties compared to their typically developing peers. However, there are limited studies about emotional regulation (ER) in DLD. Emotional regulation refers to the ability to control one’s own emotions. One of the factors that impacts development of ER is parenting and parent’s ER. The main aim of this paper was to advance knowledge of ER in school-age children and adolescents with and without DLD. To do so, the paper explores whether ER differs between parents of children with DLD compared to those of typically developing children, and whether this parental ER is related to the ER of their children and adolescents (with and without DLD).


What was found:


  • No significant differences between ER in school-aged children with and without DLD

  • Expressive vocabulary of school-age children at ages 5-7 predicted their ER at ages 9-11

  • No significant differences between ER in adolescents with and without DLD

  • There were no significant differences between any of the ER scores for the two groups of parents

  • The ER of the parents predicted the ER of their school-aged children


What does this mean?


ER of parents predicted ER of school-aged children. This means that parents with more ER difficulties reported more ER difficulties in their child. This refers to ‘modelling emotional regulation’ as children often learn from their parents. Parental ER has a broader impact on their school-aged children than on their adolescent-aged children, where it seems the relationship is more restricted. Ways parents can help regulate their child’s emotion are to practice and role-play what to do in stressful situations, praise efforts, and talking about their emotions and coping strategies.


Where can I read this paper?


Where can I read this paper? This paper is open access, which means everyone can read it. Please click here to find the full paper.