Date

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science

Department

Psychology

First Adviser

Laible, Deborah J.

Abstract

While a great deal of research has examined children's attachment systems, much less work has focused on its reciprocal behavioral system, the caregiving system. Like other behavioral systems, the caregiving system is guided at the representational level, acting as a filter to influence a mother's interactions with her child. The goal of this study was to examine maternal caregiving representations in relation to mother-child discourse about emotion and children's emotion understanding abilities. Maternal caregiving representations were assessed using the shortened Parent Development Interview. Aspects of maternal caregiving representations were related to maternal elaboration and dyadic collaboration during a mother-child reminiscing discussion about a past positive emotional event, but not to discourse quality during the discussion of a past negative emotional event. Surprisingly, no aspects of mother-child discourse quality predicted children's emotion understanding, but high levels of anxiety within maternal caregiving representations were negatively related to children's emotion understanding.

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Psychology Commons

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