Parent–Child Attachment and Dynamic Emotion Regulation: A Systematic Review

Emotion Review 15 (1):28-44 (2023)
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Abstract

Although there is evidence parent–child attachment security is associated with trait-like emotion indices, trait perspectives do not fully capture children's responses to context, an important emotion regulation component. This paper evaluates whether attachment is associated with two dynamic emotion indicators: emotion reactivity and emotion recovery. We review conceptual and empirical connections, describe the dynamic emotion perspective, discuss hypotheses, and review evidence. Our review (15 studies) shows that secure attachment was more consistently related to recovery than reactivity, avoidant attachment was related to low emotion reactivity and recovery, ambivalent attachment was associated with greater emotion reactivity, and disorganized attachment was related to high reactivity and recovery difficulties. We close by comparing trait-like and dynamic emotion conclusions then propose future research directions.

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