Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Preston A. Britner, Ph.D.; Shayne R. Anderson, Ph.D.

Field of Study

Human Development and Family Studies


Master of Arts

Open Access

Open Access


Emotion regulation begins to develop in young children and is likely influenced by early caregiver relationships. Emotion regulation is necessary during conflict situations; for children, this may arise as a temper tantrum. Children and caregivers must both utilize emotion regulation strategies during tantrum situations in order to restore emotions to a calm level. The current study looked at maternal perspectives on children’s emotion regulation. Mothers completed the Emotion Regulation Checklist, which measures a child’s emotion regulation, and responded to open-ended questions about their child’s tantrum experiences in order to examine strategies used by mothers and children during tantrum episodes. A total of 32 mothers were recruited from two New England service providers (Head Start preschool and sports/activities classes). Mother-child dyads showed significant similarities in calming strategies in regards to physical distraction techniques. Results also showed a significant positive correlation between children’s emotion regulation abilities and length of tantrums as well as mean differences in reported length of tantrums between mothers who reported teaching their children regulation strategies and those that did not. Implications include teaching families strategies for emotion regulation in order to promote regulation in children and prevent future difficulties as children age.

Major Advisor

Beth S. Russell, Ph.D.