Emotion socialization and child conduct problems: a comprehensive review and meta-analysis

Ameika M. Johnson, David J. Hawes*, Nancy Eisenberg, Jane Kohlhoff, Joanne Dudeney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


Decades of research have emphasized the role that coercive and ineffective discipline plays in shaping child and adolescent conduct problems, yet an emerging body of evidence has suggested that parents’ emotion socialization behaviors (ESBs) (e.g., reactions to emotions, discussion of emotions, and emotion coaching) may also be implicated. This meta-analysis examined concurrent and longitudinal associations between parental ESBs and conduct problems, and tested for moderators of these associations. A systematic search identified 49 studies for which data on concurrent associations between ESBs and conduct problems were available (n=6270), and 14 studies reporting on prospective associations (n=1899). Parental ESBs were found to be significantly associated with concurrent (r=−0.08) and prospective (r =−0.11) conduct problems, in the order of small effect sizes. Key findings of moderator analyses were that ESBs were more strongly associated with conduct problems at younger ages and when ESBs were focused on the socialization of negative rather than positive emotions. Findings support the integration of ESBs into family-based models of antisocial behavior, and have the potential to inform the design of parent training interventions for the prevention and treatment of child conduct problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-80
Number of pages16
JournalClinical Psychology Review
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • parenting
  • conduct problems
  • emotion socialization
  • emotion coaching
  • child


Dive into the research topics of 'Emotion socialization and child conduct problems: a comprehensive review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this