Using a multi-method approach, this study examined differences in parental meta-emotional philosophy (including, parental emotional awareness and emotion coaching) for families with anxiety disordered (AD; n = 74) and non-AD (n = 35) children (aged 7 to 15). Further, it was investigated whether children’s emotion regulation (ER) varied across the AD and non-AD groups. Parent(s) were interviewed about their awareness of emotions and emotion coaching; completed a battery of questionnaires that included a measure assessing children’s emotion regulation; and engaged in a parent-child discussion task. Results indicated that compared to parents of non-AD youth, parents of AD youth were less aware of their own emotions and their children’s emotions, and these results varied by emotion type. Parents of AD youth engaged in significantly less emotion coaching than parents of non-AD youth. AD youth were identified as having significantly greater difficulty regulating their emotions when compared to non-AD youth. Implications for the role of parental meta-emotional philosophy and AD youth’s emotion regulation are discussed.
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- childhood anxiety
- emotion regulation
- emotion socialisation