UBC Theses and Dissertations
Is maternal emotion socialization associated with daughters’ eating disorder psychopathology and emotion regulation? A mediation study based on mothers’ reports Rozworska, Karolina Anna
There is an ongoing need to improve the models of and treatments for eating disorders (EDs), given the limited recovery rates. Emotion regulation difficulties predict and maintain these disorders but interventions that teach emotion regulation skills to individuals with EDs have not improved the overall treatment efficacy. Research in developmental psychology suggests that parents influence (socialize) emotion regulation of their adolescent children and can be utilized in treatment as emotion coaches. This can be a promising avenue for future interventions for EDs, if research demonstrates that parental emotion socialization is linked to youth’s ED psychopathology through youth’s emotion regulation, as suggested by theory. This study examined if three channels of emotion socialization – practices (emotion coaching, emotion dismissing, and positive beliefs about daughters’ anger), mothers’ emotion regulation, and expressed emotion (critical comments, emotional overinvolvement) – were associated with daughters’ ED psychopathology through daughters’ emotion regulation. Individual differences that might be associated with emotion socialization were also examined. 135 mothers of daughters either with or without an ED diagnosis completed a battery of measures. Daughters’ ages ranged from 12 to 24 years. Results indicated that mothers’ emotion coaching, emotion regulation difficulties, and critical comments were indirectly related to daughters’ ED psychopathology through daughters’ emotion dysregulation. Emotional overinvolvement was only linked to ED psychopathology directly. Mothers’ psychological functioning or daughters’ diagnostic status (presence or absence of an ED diagnosis) were not significantly related to emotion coaching, emotion dismissing, or positive beliefs about anger. This study is a first step towards understanding how emotion socialization, especially emotion coaching, is linked to ED psychopathology and it can inform future research and clinical practice.
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