The costs of parental pressure to express emotions: Conditional regard and autonomy support as predictors of emotion regulation and intimacy

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Abstract

This research focuses on offspring's perceptions of their parents' usage of conditional regard and autonomy-supportive practices in response to the offspring's experiences of negative emotion. Participants were 174 college students (60% were females). As predicted from self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000), students' perceptions of parents as hinging their regard on students' expression or suppression of negative emotions predicted a maladaptive pattern of emotion regulation and intimacy capacity. In contrast, autonomy-supportive parenting predicted more adaptive emotion regulation and intimacy patterns. Also as predicted, emotion-regulation mode mediated the relations between parental practices and intimacy capacity. The innovative aspect of the study is the finding that parents who use conditional regard to encourage children's expression (sharing) of negative emotions may actually undermine their children's socioemotional capacities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799-808
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2012

Keywords

  • Autonomy support
  • Emotion regulation
  • Emotional expression
  • Parental conditional regard

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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