Parental emotion regulation and preschoolers’ prosocial behavior: The mediating roles of parental warmth and inductive discipline

Sonya Xinyue Xiao, Tracy L. Spinrad, Donald Bruce Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


The potential mediating roles of parental warmth and inductive discipline on the relations of parental emotion regulation strategies to children’s prosocial behavior were examined in this study. Sixty-four parents of preschoolers (50% girls) completed questionnaires assessing their own regulation practices (i.e., cognitive reappraisal, expressive suppression), parenting behaviors (i.e., parental warmth/nurturance, inductive discipline), and children’s prosocial behavior (voluntary behavior intended to benefit another). The authors hypothesized that cognitive reappraisal would be positively and expressive suppression would be negatively related to parenting behaviors and children’s prosocial behavior. They further hypothesized that parental warmth and inductive discipline would mediate the relations between parents’ own regulation strategies and children’s prosocial behavior. Results demonstrated that parental cognitive reappraisal was positively associated with warmth, and expressive suppression was negatively associated with inductive discipline and children’s prosocial behavior. Parental warmth, but not inductive discipline, mediated the relations between cognitive reappraisal and children’s prosocial behavior. The results highlight adults’ own regulatory strategies as predictors of socialization behaviors and the potential processes for socialization of children’s moral emotions and positive social development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Genetic Psychology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • cognitive reappraisal
  • expressive suppression
  • inductive discipline
  • Prosocial behavior
  • warmth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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