Summative assessment: strategies

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You have been told that the HR Director is pleased with the work you have completed for the organization and would like to take your contribution to the next level. She would like you to review several strategic reports on the organization and provide feedback on how you think Southwest HR should move forward.

Review the recommended sources in addition to your own research.

Compile a strategy recommendation to the HR Director to be used for company-wide decisions. Include the following information in your report:

  • An executive summary of the HR strategy project
  • An analysis of current strategies and issues
  • Identify the type of strategy Southwest Airlines is following.
  • Identify 3 HRM implications for Southwest Airlines.
  • Develop and justify business strategies for each of the 3 HRM implications.
  • Determine an HR strategy.

Use at least 2 sources other than those provided. Review the following sources to assist with your recommendation:

Format your citations according to APA guidelines.

CHILDREN’S EMOTION REGULATION AND ATTACHMENT
TO PARENTS: PARENTAL EMOTION SOCIALIZATION

AS A MODERATOR

EMINE AHMETOGLU
Trakya University

GÖKÇEN ILHAN ILDIZ
Namik Kemal University

IBRAHIM H. ACAR AND AMY ENCINGER
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

We examined the associations among parental emotion socialization, and children’s emotion
regulation and attachment to parents. In particular, we examined the moderating role of
parental emotion socialization in the relationship between children’s emotion regulation and
attachment to parents. Participants were 78 Turkish children (49 boys) aged from 60 to 77
months and their parents. Parents reported on the socialization strategies they used for their
children’s emotions and on their children’s emotion regulation, and we assessed children’s
attachment to parents via the Doll Story Completion Task. Results revealed that parents’
minimization reaction to children’s emotions moderated the association between children’s
emotion regulation and attachment to parents. When parents’ response was punitive, children
with poor emotion regulation displayed stronger attachment to parents than children with
robust emotion regulation did. In addition, girls had a more secure attachment to parents than
boys did. Our results highlight the importance of children’s emotion regulation and parental
emotion socialization for children’s secure early attachment to parents.

Keywords: parental attachment, attachment style, Turkish children, children’s emotion
regulation, parental emotion socialization.

SOCIAL BEHAVIOR AND PERSONALITY, 2018, 46(6), 969–984
© 2018 Scientific Journal Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.
https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.6795

969

Emine Ahmetoglu, Department of Preschool Education, Faculty of Education, Trakya University;
Gökçen Ilhan Ildiz, Child Development Program, Namik Kemal University; Ibrahim H. Acar and
Amy Encinger, Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, College of Education and Human
Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Ibrahim H. Acar is now at the Department of Early Childhood Education, Istanbul Medipol
University.
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the International Scientific Researches Congress on
Humanities and Social Sciences, Istanbul, Turkey in April 2017.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ibrahim H. Acar, Department of
Early Childhood Education, Istanbul Medipol University, Beykoz, Istanbul 34815, Turkey. Email:
[email protected]

CHILDREN’S EMOTION REGULATION AND ATTACHMENT 970

The formation of attachment in early childhood lays the foundation for later
social relationships and development of self-concept, and social–emotional skills
(Pearson, Cowan, Cowan, & Cohn, 1993). Bowlby (1982) defines attachment
as the strong emotional tie of one person to another, which is important and
meaningful. The attachment system is critical for the newborn child’s survival
and development (Pearson et al., 1993). Children with a secure attachment to
primary attachment figures are likely to explore their environment freely during
the first year of life (Bowlby, 1982) and are less likely to have internalizing and
externalizing behavior problems (Brumariu & Kerns, 2010).

The process of socialization begins in the early years of childhood, whereby
individuals learn to communicate and socialize through verbal and nonverbal
behavior, primarily with their parents. Emotion socialization refers to parents’
behavior, communication, and response to their children’s negative emotional
expression (Eisenberg, Cumberland, & Spinrad, 1998).

Emotion regulation is defined as individuals’ internal and external processes
responsible for monitoring, assessing, and altering their emotional reactions
(Thompson, 2014). Emotion regulation enables parents and children to react to
daily experiences in a more tolerant and flexible way (Thompson, 2014). Thus,
emotion regulation has an important role in social adaptation and functionality
of parents and children.

Literature Review and Hypotheses

Children’s Emotion Regulation and Attachment
Previous researchers have conceptualized the association between emotion

regulation and attachment from a unidirectional perspective, that is, either that
children’s emotion regulation predicts the quality of their attachment to their
parents, or that attachment security predicts the development of children’s
emotion regulation (see, e.g., Cassidy, 1988; Kiel & Kalomiris, 2015). However,
in recent theoretical and empirical studies, researchers have approached this
association from a bidirectional perspective (e.g., Kiel & Kalomiris, 2015;
Waters et al., 2010). Kiel and Kalomiris (2015) posited from this perspective that
parents and parenting behavior, including attachment between parent and child,
“do not unidirectionally influence children’s [emotion regulation]” (p. 11), but
rather, children’s individual characteristics, such as their emotion regulation, also
influence parent–child interaction, including attachment. In their empirical study,
Waters et al. (2010) explored the bidirectional association between children’s
emotion regulation and their attachment to their parents. These authors used
laboratory tasks and observation to investigate this association in preschool-aged
children and found that the children’s ability to understand negative emotions
significantly predicted mother–child concordance. Waters et al. also found that

CHILDREN’S EMOTION REGULATION AND ATTACHMENT 971

when the children with better understanding of their negative emotions were in
conversation with their mothers about their negative emotional experiences, they
used avoidance as part of their regulation strategy; this was consistent with the
mothers’ validation provided via interviews and attachment reports.

In addition, from a temperament-based perspective (Groh et al., 2017;
Rothbart, 2011), children’s temperamental characteristics, including a disposition
to regulate their emotions, are related to the quality of their attachment with their
parents. For example, Groh et al. (2017) conducted a meta-analysis to examine
the association between temperament and attachment in children and found that
negative temperament, that is, lack of control of emotions such as anger and fear,
predicted security, avoidance, and resistance in the children’s attachment with
their parents. Groh et al. concluded that it is important to include temperament
as an individual characteristic in research on children’s attachment (see also, van
IJzendoorn & Bakermans-Kranenburg, 2012). Thus, there is a lack of research
on both the bidirectional association between children’s emotion regulation and
attachment, and the path from emotion regulation to attachment. We attempted
to address this gap, in particular with a non-Western population, by examining
the predictive role of Turkish children’s emotion regulation in their attachment
with their parents.

Parental Emotion Socialization in Early Childhood
Parents guide children’s emotion socialization by identifying and recognizing

emotions, discussing their importance with them, modeling emotional behavior
(including expression and regulation of emotions), and setting the family
emotional atmosphere in the home (Eisenberg, Cumberland, & Spinrad, 1998;
Morris, Silk, Steinberg, Myers, & Robinson, 2007). Parents support children’s
emotion socialization through positive emotion-related behavior, such as
emotion-focused responses that help children to reduce the effects of emotional
arousal in a social context (Spinrad, Stifter, Donelan-McCall, & Turner, 2004;
Yagmurlu & Altan, 2010). Denham, Bassett, and Wyatt (2007) found that when
parents display positive behavior in response to their children’s emotional
expression (e.g., problem-focused behavior), this behavior is related to the
children’s positive behavior, such as ease of adaptation to emotional arousal, for
example, stimulating anger or fear. In contrast, when parents have a negative
reaction, such as minimization, to the children’s emotions, the parents suppress
and block the children’s emotional expression (Denham et al., 2007).

Overall, previous researchers have shown that parent–child relationships that
are based on sensitivity and warmth, namely, parental support of the children’s
emotional expression, are related to better emotion regulation in the children
(Denham et al., 2007). For example, Denham et al. (2007) found that when
parents displayed positive parenting approaches, such as supporting the children’s

CHILDREN’S EMOTION REGULATION AND ATTACHMENT 972

negative emotions and autonomy, these were related to higher levels of preschool
children’s emotion regulation in their interactions with peers. In contrast,
unsupportive and authoritarian approaches by parents, such as restraining the
children’s emotional expression, were related to lack of emotion regulation in
the children (Denham, 1998). For example, Calkins, Smith, Gill, and Johnson
(1998) showed that parents’ discipline-based approaches to children’s emotional
expression (e.g., punishment) were related to the children’s negative emotional
expression, such as reactions of anger in social situations.

Attachment, Parental Emotion Socialization, and Emotion Regulation in
Turkish Culture

Few researchers have examined the relationships of attachment, parental
socialization, and emotion regulation with a Turkish sample. However, Yagmurlu
and Altan (2010) found that Turkish parents’ negative socialization of their
children’s emotions, such as power assertion, was negatively related to the
children’s emotion regulation. In addition, Sahin and Ari (2015) found in their
study of the association between attachment patterns of 6-year-olds and their
emotion regulation skills, a significant association between attachment patterns
and emotion regulation skill scores.

Study Purpose
To our knowledge, no researcher has examined how children’s emotion

regulation and parental emotion socialization predict parent–child attachment in
the Turkish culture. Therefore, in this study we examined this topic to gain an
understanding of how parents’ emotion socialization moderates the association
between the children’s emotion regulation and their attachment to their parents.
We thus addressed the following research questions:
Research Question 1: To what extent is Turkish children’s emotion regulation
associated with their attachment to their parents?
Research Question 2: To what extent is Turkish parents’ emotion socialization
associated with children’s attachment to their parents?
Research Question 3: To what extent does Turkish parents’ emotion socialization
moderate the association between children’s emotion regulation and their
attachment to their parents?

We expected that children’s better emotion regulation would be associated with
their secure attachment to their parents. We hypothesized that positive parental
emotion socialization, such as emotion-focused responses and expressions of
encouragement, would be positively related to secure attachment patterns and
children’s emotion regulation, and negative parental emotion socialization, such
as problem-focused responses, minimization, and punitive reactions, would be
negatively related to attachment patterns and children’s emotion regulation.

CHILDREN’S EMOTION REGULATION AND ATTACHMENT 973

We expected that positive parental emotion socialization would ameliorate the
association between children’s poor emotion regulation and the level of their
attachment to their parents. In contrast, negative parental emotion socialization
would detract from the effects of emotion regulation and children’s attachment
to their parents.

Method

Participants and Procedure
Participants were 78 children (49 boys) aged from 60 to 77 months

(M = 68.56, SD = 4.73) and their parents. Each child had two parents except for
one child with a single (divorced) mother. In regard to the socioeconomic status
of the parents, 16.7% reported a high-level, 75.6% a medium-level, and 7.7% a
low-level status.

After we had received approval from Trakya University’s Ethics Committee
and the Directorate of the National Ministry of Education to conduct the study,
parents and teachers were invited by the first author to participate in this study.
Once consent was obtained, the researchers and teachers provided parents with
the Emotion Regulation Checklist (ERC; Shields & Cicchetti, 1997) and the
Coping with Children’s Negative Emotions Scale (CCNES; Fabes, Eisenberg, &
Bernzweig, 1990). Parents returned the completed survey to their child’s teacher
who delivered them to the researcher. Children’s attachment to their parents
was assessed by the researcher at their preschools. There was no time limit for
children to respond to the attachment stories. Testing took approximately 15
minutes for each child.

Measures
Attachment. To assess attachment we used the Doll Story Completion

Task (DSCT; Cassidy, 1988). The DSCT, which is a projective story-based
measurement tool developed to identify children’s attachment status, was adapted
for Turkish samples and tested for validity and reliability by Seven (2006).
Children are asked to complete six stories, each lasting approximately 3 minutes,
with a family of dolls. Children are expected to reveal their mental attachment
representations through these stories. Each story is scored by the experimenter
on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 = less secure attachment to 5 = more secure
attachment. We averaged the scores to create a composite attachment score for
each child. The relationship in each story is categorized as secure/strong if the
doll character is viewed as valuable, and the parental relationship is depicted as
important, special, and warm. One researcher only administered the measure
because of the cost, amount of time training for the assessment, and restriction
of access to preschools in the district. Cronbach’s  = .78 in Seven’s (2006)

CHILDREN’S EMOTION REGULATION AND ATTACHMENT 974

Turkish sample, which was acceptable, with a test–retest correlation of .63 in the
validated scale. Cronbach’s  = .69 in this study, which was low.

Emotion regulation. We used the ERC to measure the children’s emotion
regulation. The ERC is a 24-item checklist, which is completed by the children’s
parents, and is rated on a 4-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 = never to 4 =
always. The ERC, which has shown high validity and consistency with Turkish
samples (Yagmurlu & Altan, 2010), includes items on liability/negativity, which
tap into emotional dysregulation and regulation. A sample item is “Responds
positively to neutral or friendly overtures by peers.” A composite unitary score
for emotion regulation was created by reversing items of liability/negativity
and averaging these items with emotion regulation items (Cronbach’s  = .77).
Therefore, higher scores indicated more effective emotion regulation. Scores
ranged from 2.27 to 3.87 for emotion regulation in this study.

Parental emotion socialization. We used the CCNES to measure parental
emotion socialization. The CCNES, which has been found to have strong
reliability and validity among Turkish preschool children (Altan-Aytun,
Yagmurlu, & Yavuz, 2013; Yagmurlu & Altan, 2010), comprises 12 scenarios
that reflect situations in which children experience negative emotions. Parents
rate each item in a specific situation on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1
= I never do this to 5 = I always do this. There are five possible parent responses
to the children’s negative emotions. The problem-focused response refers to
parents scaffolding and supporting children in problem solving (i.e., “Tell my
child that I’ll help him/her practice so that he/she can do better next time,”
 = .74). The emotion-focused response refers to parents’ ability to help children
feel better in an emotional situation (i.e., “Comfort my child and try to make him/
her feel better,”  = .82). Encouragement expression refers to parental support for
the child’s emotional expression (i.e., “Encourage my child to talk about his/her
feelings of embarrassment,”  = .79). Minimization reaction refers to parental
minimization of the child’s emotion reaction and expression (i.e., “Tell my child
to quit overreacting and being a baby,”  = .83). Punitive reaction refers to
parents’ verbal or physical punishment-based responses to the child’s emotional
expression (i.e., “Tell my child that if he/she doesn’t stop then he/she won’t be
allowed to go out any more,”  = .81).

Data Analysis
Before performing regression analysis, we examined the normality of each

variable. We applied the criteria of accepted range for skewness, which is ± 2,
and kurtosis, which is ± 7 (Curran, West, & Finch, 1996). As no variable violated
these criteria, transformation was not necessary. Descriptive statistics are shown
in Table 1. Emotion regulation and parental emotion socialization were centered
at the sample mean (i.e., grand-mean centered) for main effect and interaction

CHILDREN’S EMOTION REGULATION AND ATTACHMENT 975

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CHILDREN’S EMOTION REGULATION AND ATTACHMENT 976

terms, and we used simple slope analysis to explore significant interaction effects
in moderation models (Aiken & West, 1991).

Power analysis using hierarchical multiple regression was performed to
examine whether or not there was enough power to detect effects (Cohen, 1988;
Soper, 2017). Results revealed that at  = .05 and given a medium effect size
(.18), the statistical power was .79 with N = 78.

Results

Preliminary analyses were conducted to examine any gender differences on
all variables. Independent t test results showed that attachment differed only by
gender: Girls (M = 3.95, SD = 0.67) felt more secure attachment than boys did
(M = 3.34, SD = 0.76) with their parents, t(76) = 3.58, p < .01, d = 0.48 (see
Table 1).

Children’s Emotion Regulation, Parental Emotion Socialization, and
Children’s Attachment to their Parents

We performed hierarchical regression analyses in which attachment was
regressed on emotion regulation and parental emotion socialization through
problem-focused response, emotion-focused response, encouragement expression,
minimization reaction, and punitive reaction with one parent from each family,
and all two-way interaction terms between emotion regulation and parental
emotion socialization variables, namely, emotion regulation × minimization
reaction. We conducted three-step hierarchical regression analyses in which the
first step included the child’s age and gender, and the parents’ socioeconomic
status. Main effects were entered in the second step, and the two-way interaction
terms were entered in the third step. Results are presented in Table 2.

In Step 1, demographic variables accounted for 15% of the variance in
children’s attachment with their parents, F(3, 74) = 4.32, p = .007, R² = .15.
In the second step, the main effects explained 10% of additional variance,
F(6, 68) = 1.91, p = .16, R² = .25. In the third step, the interaction terms explained
14% of additional variance, F(5, 63) = 2.83, p = .02, R² = .39. Children’s gender
was negatively associated with their attachment to their parents ( = -.39,
p < .01), such that girls had more secure attachment than boys did with
their parents. In addition, parents’ minimization reaction negatively predicted
children’s level of attachment ( = -.33, p < .01).

The interaction between children’s emotion regulation and parents’ problem-
focused response ( = -.08, p > .05), children’s emotion regulation and parents’
encouragement expression (= .08, p > .05), and children’s emotion regulation
and parents’ emotion-focused response ( = -.35, p > .05) were nonsignificant.

The interaction between children’s emotion regulation and parents’ minimization
reaction was significantly positively predictive of children’s attachment to their

CHILDREN’S EMOTION REGULATION AND ATTACHMENT 977

parents ( = .33, t = 2.42, p = .01). This interaction is displayed in Figure 1.
Simple slope analysis showed that the slope for the interaction of children’s
emotion regulation with their attachment to their parents when parents’
minimization reaction was frequent (high score), or at the midpoint score was
not significantly different from zero (t = 0.80, p = .42 and t = -1.64, p = .10,
respectively); however, when parents’ minimization reaction was infrequent
(low score), the slope for the interaction of children’s emotion regulation with
their attachment to their parents was significantly different from zero (t = -2.81,
p < .01). Thus, when parents’ minimization reaction was at a high or average
level, children’s emotion regulation was unrelated to their attachment to their
parents. However, when parents’ minimization reaction was low, children with
poor emotion regulation displayed stronger attachment to their parents than did
children who could regulate their emotions well.

Table 2. Results of Hierarchical Regression Analysis for Children’s Emotion Regulation and
Parental Emotion Socialization Predicting Children’s Attachment to Their Parents

Attachment

Variable B SE B 

Step 1
Child’s age 0.01 0.02 .04
Child’s gender -0.64 0.18 -.39**

PES 0.04 0.09 .05
Total R ² .15
F 4.32**

Step 2
Child’s emotion regulation -0.02 0.09 -.01
Minimization reaction -0.26 0.11 -.33*

Problem-focused response 0.18 0.13 .23
Emotion-focused response 0.04 0.12 .05
Encouragement expression -0.18 0.09 -.23
Punitive response 0.13 0.11 .17
Total R ² .25
ΔR ² .10
F 1.59

Step 3
ER × MR 0.24 0.09 .33**

ER × PFR -0.06 0.15 -.08
ER × PR -0.32 0.10 -.51*

ER × EE 0.07 0.11 .08
ER × EFR -0.23 0.12 -.35
Total R ² .39
ΔR ² .14
F 2.83*

Note. N = 78. PES = parental emotion socialization, ER = emotion regulation, MR = minimization
reaction, PFR = problem-focused response, PR = punitive response, EE = encouragement expression,
EFR = emotion-focused response. * p < .05, ** p < .01.

CHILDREN’S EMOTION REGULATION AND ATTACHMENT 978

Figure 1. Parents’ minimization of children’s emotion reaction and emotion regulation
predicting children’s attachment to their parents.

Figure 2. Parents’ punitive response and children’s emotion regulation predicting children’s
attachment to their parents.

The interaction between children’s emotion regulation and parents’ punitive
response was significantly negatively related to children’s attachment to their
parents ( = -.51, t = -3.18, p < .01). This interaction is displayed in Figure
2. Simple slope analysis showed that the slope for the interaction between
children’s emotion regulation and their attachment to their parents when parents’
punitive response was at a low or midpoint level was not significantly different
from zero (t = 1.76, p = .08 and t = -0.14, p = .10); however, when parents’
punitive response was very frequent (high score), the slope for the interaction
between children’s emotion regulation and their attachment to their parents was
significantly different from zero (t = -3.17, p < .01). Thus, when parents used
a punitive response infrequently or only the average number of times for our
participant group (low or midpoint score), children’s emotion regulation was

A
tt

ac
hm

en
t

5

4

3

2

1

0
-2.00 -1.50 -1.00 -0.50 0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00
Low High

Emotion regulation

High

Mean

Low

A
tt

ac
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en
t

5

4

3

2

1

0
-2.00 -1.50 -1.00 -0.50 0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00
Low High

Emotion regulation

High

Mean

Low

Minimization of
children’s emotion

reaction

Punitive response

CHILDREN’S EMOTION REGULATION AND ATTACHMENT 979

unrelated to their attachment to their parents. However, when parents often used
a punitive response, children with poor emotion regulation displayed stronger
attachment to their parents than did children who could regulate their emotions
well.

Discussion

In this study we examined the interplay between parental emotion socialization
and children’s emotion regulation with respect to the children’s attachment to
their parents. First, we found that when parents seldom used the minimization
reaction, children with poor emotion regulation displayed stronger attachment to
their parents than did children with effective emotion regulation. This finding is
interesting because it suggests that parents’ infrequent use of the minimization
reaction has an ameliorating role for their children with poor emotion regulation,
as these children demonstrate more secure attachment to their parents than
do other children. This finding is similar to the conceptualization of how
parents’ socialization of their children interacts with the children’s individual
characteristics, such as emotionality (Bakermans-Kranenburg & van IJzendoorn,
2011; Brumariu, 2015), so that children with poor emotion regulation may have
better social relationships than do their peers. This includes attachment in a social
context, when children experience supportive parenting, for example, low levels
of negative parenting (McElwain, Holland, Engle, & Wong, 2012). Further,
previous researchers have shown that children with poor emotion regulation
tend to find ways to establish attachment with their caregiver in a context of
flexible, sensitive, and supportive encouragement of emotions (Contreras, Kerns,
Weimer, Gentzler, & Tomich, 2000). From this perspective, in this study, children
with low scores for emotion regulation were inclined to obtain higher scores for
attachment to their parents, when their parents did not minimize their emotional
reactions.

Second, we found that when parents used a punitive reaction frequently,
children with poor emotion regulation would display a stronger attachment to
their parents than did children with high emotion regulation. This finding appears
contradictory as we found that the combination of a low score for emotion
regulation and a high score for parents’ punitive response to the children’s
emotional expression could lead to children’s weak attachment to their parents.
Our finding requires further exploration for clarity and generalizability.

In addition, an examination of the association between attachment and
emotion regulation relies on the cultural context (Brumariu, 2015; Liu & Huang,
2012). From this perspective, Turkish children with poor emotion regulation
may not have a negative perception of their parents’ punitive approach to
their emotion socialization and, thus, they still have a strong attachment to

CHILDREN’S EMOTION REGULATION AND ATTACHMENT 980

their parents. Researchers have found that in Turkish culture, children have
a positive perception of authoritarian parenting, and this style of parenting
has positive associations with children’s social outcomes (Kagitçibasi, 2007;
Sen, Yavuz-Muren, & Yagmurlu, 2014). Although this finding may appear
contradictory, in general, interpretation of findings should be made from
the perspective of the interactional model of child development, that is,
child–environment interaction (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006). However, we
acknowledge that it is difficult to interpret this finding from the point of view
of researchers such as Brumariu (2015) and Spinrad et al. (2004). Nevertheless,
this finding can be explained by previous researchers who have reported that
children can elicit specific approaches from their parents depending upon the
children’s own characteristics, including their ability to regulate their emotions.
The parenting approach that is elicited then influences the children’s relationship
with their parents (Acar, Torquati, Encinger, & Colgrove, 2018; Kiel &
Kalomiris, 2015). From this perspective, it appears from our results that mothers
who perceive their children as having poor emotion regulation react punitively
to these children’s emotional expression. Further, our results show that children
with poor emotion regulation may have a tendency to feel they should be close
to their mothers (i.e., attached), but as the mothers perceive this closeness to
be a negative approach from the children, the mothers react punitively to them.
Overall, there is an association between how children approach their parents and
how parents respond to the children’s emotional expression, depending on the
children’s ability to regulate their emotions (Kiel & Kalomiris, 2015).

We suggest that cultural context should be considered when interpreting
our findings. When culturally oriented characteristics of parenting behavior
are considered, the same parenting behavior may have different meanings and
responses in different cultures (Sen et al., 2014). Kagitçibasi (2007) argued
that as the Turkish cultural context and Turkish family structures are different
from those in Western cultures, parenting behavior in Turkey may not have
the same meaning for parents and children in the US. For example, Turkish
parents show controlling behavior and warmth at the same time, which elicits
a positive reaction from their children, whereas this combination of behavior
gets a negative reaction from children in the US (Kagitçibasi, 2007). In addition,
parents and children may perceive their relationships differently (Lamb, Hwang,
Ketterlinus, & Fracasso, 1999). Therefore, inconsistency in the measurement
of children’s attachment to their parents in a structured environment and their
parents’ perceptions may lead to our findings.

Our finding that girls had a more secure attachment to their parents than boys
did is consistent with previous findings. For example, Pierrehumbert et al. (2009)
concluded that as girls’ attachment-related narrations were more secure than those
of boys, and the girls also created more secure attachment representations, their

CHILDREN’S EMOTION REGULATION AND ATTACHMENT 981

attachment to their parents was more secure than that of the boys. Furthermore,
in a study conducted in the US, Szewczyk-Sokolowski, Bost, and Wainwright
(2005) found the attachment scores of girls were significantly higher than those
of boys. This similar finding of gender differences in attachment reflects that of
Turkish researchers who suggest that Turkish parents think that girls need to be
protected by, and closer to, their parents more than boys do (Kilic, 2013).

We also found that parents in our participant group with a higher socioeconomic
status than the others made less harsh and more sensitive responses to their
children’s negative emotional expression. This finding is congruent with that of
previous researchers (e.g., Atay, 2009), whose results showed that families with
a lower socioeconomic status meted out disapproval and punishment in response
to their children’s negative emotions (e.g., anger). This approach negatively
influenced the children’s psychosocial, cognitive, and physical development. In a
study conducted in Turkey, Atay (2009) explored maternal emotion and emotion
socialization in early childhood and found that the mothers in families with a
lower income had a poorer emotional awareness than their higher socioeconomic
status peers, which was predictive of their children’s emotional imbalance/
negativity.

There are limitations in this study. First, only parent-reported emotion
regulation and parental emotion socialization were used to assess these two
constructs. This may create reporter bias and may not represent the full picture of
the children’s emotion regulation and parental emotion socialization. Therefore,
future researchers should assess the parents’ report and make independent
observations to reflect a wider view of the constructs. Second, our sample size
limited the use of more complex models to detect effect sizes. Thus, recruiting a
larger sample may enable researchers to use more complex models to examine the
constructs in this study. Third, only one researcher implemented the supervision
and data collection for the attachment stories with the children. This may have
led to reporter bias and lack of interrater reliability. Future researchers may wish
employ two or more assessors to administer the supervision and collection of the
children’s attachment stories.

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